It’s been another looong week at grad school. (Is it Friday yet?!) But I’m trying to start the week off on a positive note!
I’ve definitely been challenged at grad school thus far. Lots of work, lots of late nights and little sleep (but I’m working on getting 8 hours a night if I can). I never tried to fool myself into thinking that grad school was going to be easy or any less competitive than my undergraduate experience. I knew what was in store considering I was going to attend a huge university.
What I was surprised to see, however, was the behavior of some of my graduate classmates. One student made fun of another’s project idea by laughing in class. Another gossiped ruthlessly about other students, criticizing everything from work ethic to the type of clothes they wore. Was I transported back into high school? Why, in this professional environment, were people so careless about the feelings of others?
Luckily, I’ve met many great people at grad school that I feel I can trust and enjoy hanging out with. I’ve realized that this issue isn’t just a graduate school problem–I experience it in middle school all the way up through my senior year of college. I used to take the negative comments of others so personally (and still do, occasionally…working on toughening up my skin!). But now, I listen to Dr. Seuss’ great advice: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
No matter where you are in life–high school or in the professional world–negative people will always be there. The harsh critics, the bullies, the naysayers. Those people will tear others down heartlessly. And that’s negative energy I don’t need in my life.
Balancing negativity has been difficult for me, especially negativity directed toward myself. But it’s quite wearing on my mental, physical and emotional health. I’m trying to let go of my own negative energy through meditation and reflection. Letting negative people into my life is simply no longer worth it. I don’t want to be surrounded by people who make me feel insecure or uncomfortable with myself.
Your support network shouldn’t be cluttered with people you cannot trust. If I have a problem, I don’t want to be worrying that my “friend” will laugh at me or put me down. I have finally realized I need to surround myself with people who lift me up, not people who bring me down. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of these people, for one reason or another. But when you make the decision to cut out negative people, you will start feeling so much better about your friendships and your life.