How to Choose Happy This Winter

By Jen Fine, Regular ContributorDecember 11, 2015


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For those of you who know me well, you probably aren’t blind (or deaf) to the fact that winter, more specifically the month of February, has the potential to ruin my entire year. There’s just something in the air, or maybe it’s the fact that I a) don’t celebrate Christmas or b) am very aware of the fact that once December comes I won’t see the sun again until March, that just makes the winter time seem completely unbearable.

The more I think about the cold, snowy days spent on the couch (because college decided we need four weeks to recoup at home without the excitement of frat parties or bar hopping with your best gal pals) the harder it is to accept the fact that, like it or not, the long, dark winter is upon us.

Over the past few years, however, I have been forced to come to terms with the fact that, for as long as I live on this planet, there IS going to be a winter and there is NOTHING I can do about it. So, what do I do, you ask?

I’ve come to accept that no matter how hard it may seem to get through, winter actually has a lot to offer.

Whether it’s ice-skating with your friends from home, running around the house in fuzzy socks with a bottle of wine, Happy Hour at Kona Grill and then a Disney movie marathon, or Secret Santa Gift Exchanges, there’s a lot to celebrate this season.

Whether we like it or not, it’s getting darker earlier and we are going to become less and less inclined to go outside past the hours of 5pm. Hey, Netflix and chill will always be an option, though, right? WRONG. The more we lay around in our dark rooms binge-watching Gossip Girl or Parks and Rec, the more likely we are to become sad or lonely, thus asking ourselves the same questions every night: How am I still single? How cool would it be if I got a 4.0 last semester? Why is Chuck Bass the most perfect (although not actually real) human being? These questions, although seemingly important, are not only the main reason we shouldn’t stay up past 1am, but also the main reason we need to get out and do more this winter season instead of lounging around having our own little pity party.

Every day when we wake up, no matter the season, we have the ability to find 100 things that can/will make us unhappy.Whether the kitchen isn’t clean, you have a big exam, or it’s just a simple bad hair day, there is no shortage of things that can damper our mood. The choice I think we all need to make this season, however, is NOT to let the stupid things in life get us down. We need to focus on the big, important things, like the fact that we get to spend another holiday surrounded by people who love and care about us or that we have a warm fireplace to cuddle up to at night, while others are freezing on the street. I’m challenging not just myself, but everyone out there, to make the conscious choice to live a more productive life this winter and to wake up searching for the 100 things that will make us smile instead. In life, there is always a choice to be made, and, from here on out, I choose happy.

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What makes you happy during the long winter? How do you choose happiness? Tell us below!

About Jen

JENNIFER_FINE_writer_bio.jpgJen is currently a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys all things sarcastic, obsessing over the New York Rangers, and is a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee fanatic. When she’s not singing in the shower, writing her feelings, or dishing out life advice to her friends, you can catch her lying around watching One Tree Hill for the third time. Feel free to check out her personal blog at for more!


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