Averi Amsterdam, Staff Writer
It’s easy to slip into a negative mindset, especially at this point in the semester. Not only is this way of thinking draining for you, but it is also draining to the people around you. The first step to changing your negative mindset is to change your default mental setting. In other words, it is all about how you look at the world. Sure, not everything will go your way and life will get difficult, but if you focus more on the good than the bad, your negative mindset will slowly turn into a positive one.
A LEAD event called “Positive Zone Theory” took place in Fitzelle Hall on Tuesday, December 8, led by Resident Director Andrew Bradfield. This event was mainly geared towards RAs. However, the information shared is beneficial to all students.
Prior to the main activity, Bradfield showed a video starring Lady Gaga called “We are Communicating Lies”. In this video, she says she took a look at her life and her career and figured out what aspects were making her unhappy. Once she was able to acknowledge this, she began to say no to those things. For some people, it is very difficult to say no. We want to be able to please everyone, but often forget to please ourselves. Once Lady Gaga began to say no to what she did not believe in or did not enjoy doing, she gradually became a happier person. Lady Gaga then pulls out her phone to emphasize that we are more focused on sending the right text message and emoji rather than saying what we truly feel. The video ends with her stating, in today’s society, “we are unconsciously communicating lies.”
This short video clip was the perfect segue into Bradfield’s point that the digital age prevents effective communication because we are always on our phones. This prevents us from listening actively to one another. All the participants were asked to pair up with someone else in the room they did not know. About every minute or two, a different question was presented on the screen. They expanded beyond the general “What is your major?” and “Where are you from?” surface questions, allowing for deeper conversations to get to know people you may have never interacted with otherwise.
The activity lasted for about 15 minutes before everyone came back together as a group. The purpose was to actively listen to the responses given and to pay attention to how you give your response. The more actively we listened, the more we are able to retain from the conversations we have. This is especially important in the classroom. It is very easy to get distracted while listening to a lecture you aren’t interested in. However, it is much more difficult to retain the information being shared when you aren’t providing your full attention.
By being attached to our phones 24/7, we are missing out on so much that is going on around us and not fully appreciating the interactions we partake in.
Do your best to focus on the happy things coming up these next few weeks as you prepare for and take finals. Good luck, and stay positive!
For more information about LEAD, go to http://www.oneonta.edu/development/lead or on Campus Connection.