Pursuit of Happiness: The kickoff

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That’s the thing about being positive: It doesn’t stop bad things from happening to you. For me, being positive revolves around your mindset. (~Pawsitive~Candie_N/Flickr Creative Commons)

Hello and welcome to my little column! I’m Armana, I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold (just kidding, although the title of this column is 100 percent inspired by “Pursuit of Happiness,” thank you Kid Cudi). I try my best to be the most positive version of myself at all times, and I have honestly been pretty successful. I want to take you along on my pursuit of happiness and give a holistic approach at optimism and a positive lifestyle. I for one am constantly learning about life and how to navigate its waters and I hope to relay what I learn to all of you.

For anyone that doesn’t know me well, one of the things I’m best known for is my consistently positive attitude. Of course, there are plenty of times I feel like something is just slightly beyond reach, times that make me feel so frustrated that I think I will never stop hitting walls.

That’s the thing about being positive: It doesn’t stop bad things from happening to you. For me, being positive revolves around your mindset. It’s about accepting the parts of your life that you cannot change and molding the parts of your life that you can change, all while spreading love to yourself and others. When things feel like they are crumbling in my hands, I remind myself to take control of the the parts of my life that are in my power so I can stay stable and build back whatever is falling apart.

Before I continue my positive preaching, I want to come clean about myself. See, this column is not just for the people who might read it, but is also a way for me to keep my own attitude and mindset in check. I want to keep this real so I can hold myself accountable, so I can practice what I preach; when I say that positivity starts with acceptance, I need to make sure I can accept myself. So here we go! Allow me to introduce myself with no barriers.

I’m Armana Islam. I’m 19. I have an adorably annoying younger brother and sweet, attentive parents. When I’m at home, I hold my family together; things can sometimes feel strained when I leave. I’m the person they talk to. I didn’t really notice because I was so accustomed to the way I grew up, everything just seemed normal. In reality, things are a little warped in my family, but things are good. I’ve seen people in my extended family come and go (but mostly go, I only have one grandparent left). I’ve lost people I love, in and out of my family.

My family is from Bangladesh and my many trips there exposed me to extreme poverty, eventually bringing me to the conclusion that I want to be a pediatrician; maybe one day I can go back and treat those children on the streets with the healthcare any human deserves. Honestly though, with the way academics are treating me, I might be standing in my own way. I am nowhere near where I want to be.

Faith helps. I am Muslim, but I am also far from being the ideal Muslim. If Islam taught me anything, however, it is that intention is important. I want to be someone that can provide love, happiness and wellbeing to others. My passion and optimism carry me through times that I think I will never amount to my self-expectations. These are the few not-so-great things about my life, but it does not take away from the many loving and supporting friends and family members I have, the beautiful house I live in, the education I am blessed to receive and the overall wonderful life I am so happy to live.

Acceptance: I might not be cut out for my biggest dreams. Positive control: I will never give up on what I want to do and I will always try to put my best foot forward for each and every step of my journey.

There you have it! That is me, that is who I am.

Like I said before, I value my accountability, especially since I am now writing with the intent to teach. I wanted to start this column off with disclosure about my life and how I’m doing. I am learning everyday; I am not an expert at life and I make a million mistakes a day. I want to reach out and spread the love because happy people make me happy. If I can get even one person to feel like they can implement a little more positivity in their life, I would be beyond happy.

Thank you, and keep smiling!


Armana Islam is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at armana.islam@uconn.edu.

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