Allison Acquaviva

Public Relations Major. Junior.

Writing Center Tutor. Circle K Member.

I'm a 20 year old Junior in the field of Public Relations. When I'm not blogging or on campus, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, listening to music, watching Duck Dynasty & volunteering at the local animal shelters in & around the area. Animals are my biggest passion & someday I hope to make a difference in their lives.

The Reality of Fear

Sep 2, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

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When was the last time you felt fear? Like, real, true fear?

For me, it was 3 weeks ago when my grandfather passed away. I remember feeling so scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen, how we were going to deal with this, & I had no idea where we were going next. Naturally, when an unexpected tragedy occurs, fear is just one of those horrible emotions that rise up.


Everyone is afraid of something. The key is to not let it overtake us. Today, I overheard some students saying how “scared they were of this or how they were afraid of that”. And, it began to occur to me how much we can let fear control our lives. It can truly paralyze us if we let it sit in our brains for too long.

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So, how can we take the steps we need to overcome fear?

1) Find Perspective:

Think things through. Think about what you’re afraid of. Can you control it? Although fear is unavoidable, it still is just an emotion. Like any emotion, it will pass. Take a deep breath & realize that nothing is permanent.

2) Live in the now:

Stay present in the moment. Worrying won’t change the future, so why do it? I know, totally easier said than done, but really, the future is one big question mark. Therefore, our thoughts about the future aren’t real.

3) Believe in yourself:

Believe that you CAN do and overcome anything. Believe that God has given you the strength that you need to fight your battles. Majority of the time, our fears are irrational & if we believe in them too much, we lose our strength. You are what you believe.

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Freshmen Fifteen: 15 Facts to Know & Learn During Your First Year!

Aug 27, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Seeing all of the new people on campus today really brought me back to 2011 when was in their shoes. I remember being so concerned & worried over the littlest things, only to find out later, they didn’t matter.

Here’s some facts & advice to all of the freshmen out there:

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1) Know that this is NOT High School: 

I remember being so nervous about (literally) EVERYTHING during my first week on campus. Granted, I’m a commuter, so I didn’t have half of the worries some others did, but still.

I had to keep reminding myself that college was NOT like high school. People really could have cared less about what I wore or what my book bag looked like. They were not as judgmental as in high school.

2) Maturity is key:

I seriously cannot stress this enough. You’re in college now. Act like it. The main difference between high school & college is that college is a voluntary experience. No one is forcing you to go. You’re there because you want to be. So, it’s time to lace up those maturity pants, ladies & gents!

3) Don’t abuse your freedom:

With college, comes a lot of freedom. You have the power over what classes you want to take, the time you want them or if you even want to go to class that day. The point: go to class. It is so unbelievably tempting not to, but you’re only hurting yourself.

4) Take complete advantage of Amazon:

Here’s one thing that I wish I knew back then! Unless you like spending oodles of dollars on textbooks & pouring your money down the drain, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy from the bookstore. Sure, there are some rare occasions when the bookstore is actually cheaper than Amazon, but trust me when I say rare. Do yourself a favor: AMAZON. 

5) Plan. Plan. Plan.

College has definitely turned me into quite the planner. It’s so important to grab those skills. As soon as I see the syllabus, I try to see what assignments I can get done in advance, so I’m not bombarded later. Plus, it saves me from those dreaded all nighters. (PS: I have yet to do one!)

6) Learn organization!

My first semester of freshmen year, I was probably the most unorganized person on earth. Papers everywhere. From notebooks, to just being thrown in my bag. I was still in that adjustment period obviously! Don’t be like that. Organize your materials. Life will be much easier.

7) Be yourself:

Nothing is better than going through life than simply being you. Not putting on a show or a fake appearance…nobody appreciates that. At all. College is the time to expand your mind, expand yourself & to get out of your comfort zone, NOT to worry about fitting in with the rest of the crowd.

8) Keep an open mind:

You’re going to meet so many new & exciting people in your first year. People from all over the country, even people from all over the world. Keep an open mind & good perspective. You never know what you can learn from someone.

9) Utilize Pinterest:

Oddly enough, if you’re looking for great study tips, or even great study apps to download, hit up Pinterest! Seriously, you can find out a plethora of information on that site simply by typing what you need in the search bar.

10) The Library will become your friend:

This applies to every single student, commuters included. You’ll probably spend more time in the library than you will in class itself! Between research papers, study groups, etc, it’s going to quickly become a familiar place.

11) Utilize your professors:

Your professors are there to help & guide you. If you need help, don’t be afraid to go to them. Go to the office hours, meet with them after class, e-mail them. Don’t just go through the motions, especially if you’re struggling in a course.

12) Do your research:

No, not just the assignments your professors give you. You just picked a major, you’re starting in on a whole new journey, make sure it’s the one you want to take. Research what the major entails. Research the courses & read what they’re all about. Research the job market & future opportunities. You may be surprised by what you find.

13) Make smart mistakes.

Mistakes are inevitable in this thing we call life. The thing is, don’t be stupid about them. Don’t do things that you’ll regret because you have this new found freedom. Have fun, but really, don’t be stupid.

14) Don’t give in to pressure:

College is all about opening yourself up & enjoying life, but never compromise yourself. If you go to a party & don’t want to drink, don’t do it. Plain & simple. If people can’t accept that, so be it. That’s their problem, not yours.

15) Get involved:

The only way to experience everything that college has to offer is by getting involved in sports or organizations. Joining Circle K was a great decision I made!

Senior Year: The Beginning of a New Chapter.

Aug 26, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

When I closed the chapter of Junior year, I never expected all of the events that were about to take place over the summer.

This summer was filled with tons of ups and downs. The ups? I was fortunate enough to celebrate my parents’ 25th Wedding Anniversary (so inspiring), as well as my 21st birthday (yay!) 

However…..

2 weeks ago, I lost one of the most important men in my life: my grandfather. He and I had a special bond that I know will never be broken. And, I consider myself extremely blessed to have had him in my life for the past 21 years. So, I can say that my first post this semester, is dedicated to him!

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My grandfather has always inspired me, and now that he’s my new angel, he is even more of an inspiration. I’ve been trying to find the positives during this time, & I think (so far) he’s giving me the strength to do so.

My grandpa always had a zest for life, and he always looked at each day as a new adventure. It didn’t matter what it held, or what he was doing, everything was always an experience to him. He was up for trying new things & stepping out of the box.

I’ve decided to take on his attitude. I’ve decided to approach every new experience just as he would, with excitement and wonder. This, includes the new semester.

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I still find it so surreal that I’ll be a senior in college. It makes me wonder where on earth did all of the time go? I remember my very first day at UC like it was yesterday! I remember how nervous I was, and to be honest, I still get the “first day of school” jitters.

But, this time, I’m going to change my thoughts. This semester presents a whole new realm of changes for me. I’m going to be participating in things that I never imagined I would be.

The way I look at it – I can be nervous, scared, anxious & negative, OR I can live by my grandpa’s example & be excited, open, confident, & welcoming to these things.

Either way, I have a choice. Really, that applies to each & every one of us. We have a choice as to how we handle new tasks & situations. To me, senior year, marks the beginning of a new chapter in my book of life. I don’t know where this semester is going to take me, but I’m confident that there will be many challenges, changes & surprises along the way.

Junior Year: A Closed Chapter

May 17, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Junior year was definitely an interesting year for me! The fall semester started out rocky being a Government major, but then I finally found my place in Public Relations and now, I could not be happier!

I have to say (really for the first time in my college career) that I’m actually going to miss this semester. I met so many great people, and learned so much about myself in the process. I also grew a passion for writing – which I never thought I’d enjoy so much.

I couldn’t wait for the fall semester to end. Then come January, I never expected to love the courses that I was taking….and of course, I never expected to become a student blogger, which I obviously enjoy greatly.

Now, it’s so weird to think that it is a closed chapter in my book. For anyone who has told me that college goes so much quicker than high school was right; especially if you’re loving what you’re doing! It’s definitely strange to know that my college career will be over this time next year.

So, a note to all incoming freshman, or just any students in general….these are just some things that I’ve learned in all of my 3 years here, but especially during this year.

  • Work hard in your curriculum, do your assignments, and do them on time.
  • If you’re unhappy in your program, change it. It is never too late.
  • Take your time before choosing a major – read through all of your options and then decide. Don’t go into anything blindly.
  • Once one semester ends, a new one begins. Leave the old one behind. If you’ve made mistakes, learn from them and try not to repeat them. Always make a fresh start.

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Happiness Tip #2: Forgiveness

May 16, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive someone who hurt you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, friend, co-worker, enemy….and so on.

That old saying “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you” isn’t exactly the truth. Words hurt, and unfortunately can stick with you for a long time. The key is, to let whatever they said, go. Easier said than done, I know.

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In order to live a happy, peaceful and successful life, we must forgive those who do us harm. It can be extremely difficult, but so freeing.

Instead of cursing those who hurt us, bless them instead. It takes a strong person to forgive and just move on. But, it is so necessary for our own health and well being.

When we forgive others, we are giving them absolutely no power over us. By holding on to anger, we only hurt ourselves. Life is too short for that.

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One of the best days of my life was when I learned to move on from all of the people who did me wrong. With the help of some great people, I came to my senses and realized that harboring bitterness was only ruining me, not them.

Moral of the story: do you want to travel the road to happiness? Learn to forgive and make peace with people and your past. You’ll be surprised how much better you will feel.

Bloom Where You are Planted!

May 14, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” - Walt Disney (Mulan)

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That quote speaks so much to me. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. Why do I love it? Well, I think this phrase fits so many people out there today, me included.

I used this as my senior yearbook quote back in high school, and several people were confused by what it meant. It’s pretty simple, to me anyway.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all”….well, I look at that as the flower that dares to be different from the rest, is unique. So, let’s liken that to people.

I’ve always been different from the rest of the crowd. I was never one to follow what others were doing, and I sure am not about to start now! I do my thing, what makes me happy…and, if that means reading a Nicholas Sparks novel rather than going out to a party, so be it. That’s where I was “planted” so to speak.

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Which brings me to my next point, bloom where you’re planted.

In my opinion, it is so beautiful to see somebody be themselves…and be content with that. Bloom where you are planted. If you’re different than the rest of the people you know…who cares? So what? That makes you unique. Congrats…you’re a fruit loop in a world filled with cheerios!

Never, I repeat, never let anyone tell you who you have to be or what you have to do. Give up the thought that you must fit in with the crowd because you don’t. It sounds so cliche, but it’s true. Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?

My point for this: I see so many people trying to change who they really are just to please other people or to look cool. I’m sorry, but that’s crazy. It took me a few years (and some lovingly advice from my parents) to figure out that by changing who I am OR by choosing to disassociate myself from something I loved was only harming me….not helping me.

I’ve loved country music since high school and so many people laughed at me because of that (and funny, they are the ones who love it now..;)) so, I did what I thought was best: gave it up. I tried listening to everything that was “cool”, but it was totally the wrong move. Eventually, I outgrew the need to care what everyone thought about it and just did me.

*Okay, I know that seems like a corny example, but I think it makes my point!*

So, bloom where you’re planted. Grow where you are meant to grow. Don’t worry about what anyone else has to say, or what anyone else does for that matter. Remember: the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful.

 

Confidence: The Key Component to Success

May 8, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

As a young woman in today’s society, it seems that everyone puts labels on us. If we’re curvy, we’re too fat. If we’re skinny, we’re unhealthy. All of the constant criticism weighs down on our confidence & self esteem. That, ladies, is just wrong.

I’ve struggled with confidence issues since high school. I used to care what everyone thought of me & tried to change myself to please them. That, by far, is the biggest mistake anyone could make.

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I know now that I totally wasted my time worrying about the opinions of others. I’m finally at that point where I know who loves and appreciates me for who I am & those who don’t? Well they don’t matter. I make my own sunshine!

One of the few steps to happiness is finding your confidence & learning to love who you are, regardless of what people say about you. In my last post about surrounding yourself with positive people, I mention how they can help build up your confidence. That’s 100% true.

But, you also need to be able to build up your own confidence.

And how do you do this? Well….it’s quite the journey, but by having a persistent, positive attitude, you will succeed.

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The first step to finding your confidence is: Stop comparing yourself to others. 

This is so hard to do, but it is absolutely crucial. I know. Easier said than done. We wish we looked like that, we wish we could dress like that, we wish we had that talent…..and the list goes on.

Why do we do this? Each one of us is a gift. Our bodies, minds and hearts are all unique. We are imperfectly perfect in our own way. So, stay focused on yourself. Run your own race. Just because someone does something better than you, or before you, doesn’t mean that you have no talent. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too. Everybody’s different, everyone learns and grows at different rates. Confidence, confidence, confidence!

The second step? Relax & go with the flow!

Seriously, listen to what you are saying about yourself. If you had a friend that talked to you, the way you talk about yourself, would they even be your friend? Think about it. So, take a breather. Find an outlet that you can channel your talents to (and yes, everyone has a talent).

Never lose your confidence over a mistake. It’s not worth it! Remember – it’s all about perspective. You can gain your confidence from your experiences, rather than losing it from your experiences.

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The third (and perhaps the most important) step: LOVE YOURSELF.

Listen, it’s not easy. There’s always something that we wish we could change about ourselves. But, once you come to that place of love and acceptance, you’ll be so much happier. When you have low confidence or self esteem, loving yourself can be a challenge. However, it is NOT impossible.

Put it into perspective. Life just would not be the same if you didn’t exist, or if you changed yourself for others. You were created the way you are for a reason. That means, you have a special gift & talent that can be used to put some good into the world, that maybe no one else has. Embrace it. Embrace everything you have to offer. *with dignity, of course*

Fourth: Be Positive.

Look for the good in any situation. Talking from experience, this can be hard too, but not impossible. Once you make up your mind that you want to be happy, the rest comes naturally.

Breathing in positivity and exhaling negativity, eventually becomes a habit. Sure, we all have our down moments. That will happen. The key is…don’t get stuck there. Sometimes, we are the prisoner’s of our own thoughts.

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The fifth step to confidence: Do what you love & love what you do.

People shine the most whenever they are doing something they love. That’s when your true confidence shows because you want to be the best you can be.

Life isn’t all about making money, doing something because it’s in the family…..granted, having a good job, making money, those are pretty important. But, of course, they aren’t everything. You have to be happy in what you’re doing. If not, change it. You don’t like your major? Change it!

It has taken me 3 major changes to find my happiness….and I’m so not ashamed of that fact. I’m loving what I’m studying & I love all of the opportunities that are presented in front of me. I have big dreams, and I needed to find a major that complemented them. I finally did, and never felt better about it.

Long story short: Confidence is essential in everything you do, whether it’s at school, work, whatever! Build yourself up. Stop tearing yourself down. Ladies, stop thinking of yourselves as objects, or someone’s possession. Know who you are, and know your worth.

7 Signs it’s the End of the Semester

May 6, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

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1) Perfect Attendance: Ah, the last week/day of classes….the time you meet people in your class you never knew existed! The time where you look around the room and spot those lovely faces you haven’t seen since syllabus day. It’s quite humorous, awkward, yet reassuring. Now, you know the end of the semester is near. Thank you, our wayward classmates…we salute you.

2) Skipping class becomes a strong temptation: Yes, completely contrary to everything I said in the first point. You also know that the end of the semester is near when you see your class size dwindling. The struggle between sleep and responsibility is real here, people.

3) Dress code? What dress code? Ok, I get it. There’s no real dress code in college. But, from my three years of experience here, I’ve seen it all. The semester usually goes like this: Beginning of Semester - dress to impress. Middle of Semester - casual is cute. End of Semester - PJ’s…all day, every day. The struggle between sleep and appearance is also real.

4) Coffee becomes your lifestyle: I have yet to go to a class where coffee isn’t present during the end of the semester (or really, any morning class for that matter.) Now if you’re like me and hate that mud in a cup, you don’t understand the need for it. Sleep and a chocolate bar give me all the energy I need to get me through the last week of classes & finals week.

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5) Your Tolerance and patience are slim: That’s no secret. Everyone’s patience are running practically slim to none. With the weather getting nicer, we are all anxious to just get out of that classroom. The last thing we want to do is walk (or drive) to class anymore. Plus, the stress from finals and other last minute assignments are weighing heavily on our minds.

6) The bookstore is unusually mobbed: it’s filled with tons of students eagerly waiting to return those heavy, expensive textbooks that may or may not have been used. Honestly, there’s no greater feeling than returning those things.

7) Your tiredness is mistaken for laziness: You just had 12-15 weeks of busy, homework and study filled days & nights. You’re tired of it. I know, we’ve all been there. Unfortunately, now is not the time to throw in the towel, with exams coming up.

Basically, the end of the semester is finally here & it came quick. I’m so looking forward to much needed rest & relaxation this summer. Yes, we’re all tired, but like I said, now is probably the worst time to call it quits. Finish the semester with a bang. Simply put: focus & study.

How to Live a Happy Life: Tip #1 – Surround Yourself with Positive People

May 1, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Everybody always talks about happiness, and how they’re longing to achieve it. First of all, happiness is not a destination, but a way of life. The question is: how can we start living a positive life? How can we grow and eventually inspire others to do the same? First off: we can start by surrounding ourselves with good, healthy, positive people.

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Now I know it’s difficult to do. You’re going to be surrounded by negative people all the time. But, that doesn’t mean you need to listen to them or pay them ANY mind. Instead, look at the people who empower you, encourage you, and see the greatness in you that sometimes, you can’t see for yourself.

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I have plenty of experience with negative, toxic people….and believe me, life becomes SO MUCH BETTER when you distance yourself from them.

The key is (like I said above), find people, or heck, even one person who encourages you & inspires you. You’ll be surprised how much better your life is.

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Now, I’m not exactly talking about looking to celebrities for encouragement (I mean you can, but ya know….) Look toward people who are closest to you, whether that’d be your family or friends. It really is easy!

Me? I’m fortunate enough to have extremely positive people & influences in my family and friends!

For the last few years, I have been lucky enough to know someone who consistently inspires me & has given me so much encouragement & support. She inspires me to believe in myself, be positive, and she is a genuine friend – which, unfortunately is hard to find nowadays. I’ll always be thankful to her for that! Because of her positive influence, I’ve been able to change my way of thinking & that is a great thing!

So, take it from me. Let go of those people who do nothing for you. Let go of the ones who are constantly putting you down. Let go of the ones who can’t accept you for who you are. Start finding and focusing on those who do. You’ll notice how much happier & confident you’ll be.

 

 

The Top 10 Tracks That Get Me Through Finals Week

Apr 27, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

With finals week fast approaching, (have you looked at the calendar??) I always find music as a motivator to help me study and keep my confidence level up!

So, without further ado, here is my top 10 list of songs that keep me going!

1) So Small – Carrie Underwood

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So Small has always been a favorite song of mine. It has gotten me through some challenging times in the past, and still remains to do so today. This song is a reminder to stop worrying so much about little things that don’t matter and to start focusing on the things and people you have in your life that are important. This song also helps me to realize that my problems really aren’t as big as they seem. Hence the title….

2) Roar – Katy Perry

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This song is such a fun, upbeat, kick – butt song! It’s the perfect motivation to tackle finals. This song helps to give confidence and lets me know that I can handle any exam (or anything) that comes my way, no matter how challenging, and that I will come out a champion!

3) Unstoppable – Rascal Flatts

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Rascal Flatts know how to motivate! Unstoppable encourages anyone who is going through a rough time. It says no matter what circumstances, you are unstoppable. You are not easily defeated. Since tests make some people (and me) a bit nervous, and a bad grade can make us feel defeated, this song is amazing to remember.

4) Letter to Me – Brad Paisley

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In this song, Brad is talking about how what he thought was a big deal, what he thought was major problems at the age of 20/21, really wasn’t. He looks back on his life now – as an adult – and puts things into perspective. It’s just a really cool song to listen to…it makes a lot of sense.

5) It Happens – Sugarland

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Can you tell I love country music yet? Ha! ;) This is a funky, feel-good song that is so easy to relate too. Got a bad grade on a test? It happens. Didn’t get the job you were hoping for? It happens. Running late because you overslept?….Well, you see what I’m getting at. The point of this song is to not take life so seriously. To not get so emotionally involved in every little thing. To learn to let go and realize things aren’t always going to go your way. Love it.

6) Jesus Take The Wheel – Carrie Underwood

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Those who know me, know I have no trouble admitting my Faith. I’m definitely not ashamed of it…I was raised that way! This song has been so inspirational to me over the years. It reminds me to slow down, Pray, relax, and just let myself be at peace with whatever is bothering me (during this time….finals week!)

7) Catch My Breath – Kelly Clarkson

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This really has nothing to do with finals, or college in general, but this is an amazing song. Give it a listen. It’s empowering!

8) Settlin’ – Sugarland

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Such a motivating song! I know I’ve been saying that a lot, but it’s true! This one talks about never settling for anything less than the BEST! That’s some really sound advice that we all should take!

9) One Day You Will – Lady Antebellum

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Lady A sure knows how to tug on the heart strings! Seriously, this song fills me up with so much encouragement. This definitely targets us college students. It just basically sends the message that you’ll be okay, no matter what happens. Any trial only makes us stronger.

10) Today is Your Day – Shania Twain

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The perfect song to wake up to! Kind of sets the tone for the day. This song really stresses to have a positive attitude and to choose happy every single day. Make up your mind that no matter what annoyances happen throughout the day, nothing can break you down!