With the start of the semester moving in fast, COVID guidelines in place as we come back to campus, and trying to soak up the last few days or weeks of summer, this time of year is stressful, busy, and exhausting. As students, it’s time to start gathering syllabi, fill in planners, and figure out routines. There is so much happening and seemingly no time to press pause and be present in the moment. The days are busy, the nights are long, and—to top it off—campus regulations are changing once again.

It’s in the midst of this August chaos that I take time to celebrate the small things that help me through my days. I call them “pockets of joy” in my life—simple things that bring a smile or a small moment of light to my day. Getting to talk to your grandparents on the phone, making a nice breakfast, or hitting all green lights on the commute to campus are all things that could be your pocket of joy. Your joy can be big or small, it can be something that happened in an instant or something that built up over time.

Things are changing once again on campus as we gear up for this next semester, and there are still so many devastating things happening around the world, but by finding your pocket of joy there’s the opportunity to take a moment to feel a bit of warmth and happiness.

Sometimes joy comes with gratitude and expressing your appreciation for the people in your life or for the lessons you’ve learned in the past few months. Joy can come from rest and taking time to yourself. Joy comes in many different shapes and sizes which makes appreciating a quick pocket of joy in your life an easy thing to think about as we continue through this difficult time of the year.

Some pockets of joy happening around NIRSA have been the first Women+ Caucus, the regional tournament applications opening up for the Champ Series, having the virtual All Regions event coming up in December, and finally seeing our friends in person in Portland. It’s incredible to see how the Association has adapted through the pandemic and it’s exciting to see what’s coming up in the near future.

So I ask you—in the midst of this busy month, the stress of the semester, and all the changes ahead—what is a pocket of joy you have in your life today? I’d love to hear about your pockets on social media! Share with us @NIRSAStudents on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok!

RPAC Facilities Graduate Assistant at The Ohio State University | NIRSA Profile

Sarah Heemstra, NIRSA Student Leader, is currently the RPAC Facilities Graduate Assistant at The Ohio State University.