The Positivity Project: Aspiration Initiative Here To Help


Cara Wimberley, Editor

In high school, emotions come in waves. Sometimes big, long-lasting, overwhelming waves, sometimes small, baby waves. Usually, though, it feels like the negative emotions are the tsunamis, and the positives are tiny splashes. Helping navigate those waves: the Aspiration Initiative (AI) crew, Karman Hendricks, Theo Bray and Ally Bode. Not only have they volunteered support to the campus of Chisholm, but they have offered some expert advice as far as decreasing that negativity that students seem to be drowning in.

“I always work to try to find the silver lining in negative situations and consider it from several different perspectives,” Bode said. “If I’m not excited about doing something, I look through someone else’s perspective to try and find the positive from their perspective.”

Bode, Bray and Hendricks all agree it’s important to have people who lift you up surrounding you.

“Four eyes are better than two,” Bray said. “If i’m struggling I rely on the wisdom of my tribe of people around me. I go to them when I struggle, and they help me in ways and areas that i’m struggling.”

When feeling down, Hendricks recommended googling coping skills and practicing good self-care.

“Self care is like finding ways to unplug, getting back to focusing on you- some people like bubble baths, or showering,” Bode said. “Jogging can take out frustration, reading a book can distract you from negativity. Happy sitcoms are helpful to me. You tune out from everything that’s negative, but focus on the laughter and the positives.”

All three of the AI crew agreed that some negativity, or negative emotions, are completely out of our control. They also agree that the goal is contentment, not happiness.

“We have to remember all emotions are of value, but if you can allow the negativity to come and go and not get stuck on it, it’s better,” Hendricks said. “Because when you get stuck in negativity, it can become problematic.”

Bode said sometimes it’s hard to find a silver lining–but she said you always have something to gain from negative experiences.

“I’ve been through difficult times, and lonely times and times of frustration, and sometimes it’s days, weeks, months of struggles,” Bode said. “It was hard to find silver linings at times. Looking back [at the hard times], that was one of the most critical years of my life. I got in touch with what was important to me and what got me through it, and I am confident now that I can get through to the other side.”

Bray acknowledged that high schoolers are surrounded with negativity.

“The challenge is making sure that, that negativity, we wanna make sure it doesn’t get inside of us.”