Hope Springs Eternal (in College)

Jeremy Sharp, PhD purpose/meaning/existentialism Leave a Comment

John Belushi in Animal HouseWow, has it really been three weeks since the last post? Time does fly, especially when it’s summer time in Colorado. But the passing of summer in a college town inevitably leads to the yearly tradition of Students Returning to School, and I have been witnessing this event over the past week or so as I ran through campus. I watched as students (mostly first year men and women) and their families unloaded personal stuff from the vehicles in an effort to make college just familiar enough to home to ease the transition. It made me remember my own first trip to college…the mixed emotions of hopefulness and nervousness, the excitement of doing something new without knowing how it would turn out.

So I felt a little nostalgic as I ran by, knowing that these students were embarking on an exciting new journey. It got me thinking about how adults, including many of my therapy clients, often lose that sense of renewal and excitement as life goes on. Without a new school year to inspire hopes and dreams, many of us fall into ruts without realizing it. Before long, life has lost a bit of luster, and we feel bored, restless, or even depressed.

I often challenge and support my clients in finding new ways to bring the “spark” back. Hope and positive expectations are incredibly powerful. So we work on either bringing awareness to existing moments that instill hope or creating new ones. I usually tell people that they should find something to look forward to on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Keeping things fresh can help in fending off the boredom and staying out of the ruts that contribute to depression and anxiety.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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