This I believe in the Power of a Smile

Kayla - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on December 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

The Power of a Smile

As a freshman in college, few things in my life are planned ahead of time. In fact, the only routine to my life has been attending class (for the most part) and the normal things a person must do in order to survive. Adjusting to college has been quite a struggle for me and the thought about transferring home has crossed my mind multiple times. Recently, I have had a more positive attitude because of one simple thing added to my routine more often: smiling. I have come to believe that a smile can cure anything for anyone at anytime.

I first came to this realization about one month into my freshmen year of college. Things weren’t going smoothly for me and I found myself upset a large majority of the time. I have always been told that I am a happy person, so this was very uncharacteristic of me. I started to not care about school as much, I quit working out and ultimately became a completely different person. My parents started to notice a difference in my overall demeanor and they made it a point to talk to me about it. Seeing that they were worried about me caused me to second guess my actions and what I had been doing. I noticed that there were a lot of people around me who were going through a lot more than I was and yet they kept a smile on their face. This caused me to feel selfish and ungrateful for the positive things I am surrounded by.

I came to realize that smiling is the key to living a happy life. One shouldn’t smile to hide his or her problems, but one certainly should smile in order to maintain a positive outlook on life. I have noticed a dramatic increase in my attitude towards life lately just because of one small thing I added to my daily routine. I refuse to leave my room or go out in public at all without a positive attitude. Not only does a smile effect one’s attitude, but it also contributes to the attitudes of those around them.

I have witnessed my mother do this throughout my life and have tried to mimic it to the best of my ability. If I am walking down the street and I witness someone drop something, I will stop to help pick it up with a smile. Gestures like these change people, whether we realize it or not. People don’t always smile back, but I am certain that a smile doesn’t hurt. When my friends are upset, I try to be upbeat and smile as much as possible because I know from experience that smiling is contagious. Without a smile I would be without friends, without optimism and without self confidence. All in all, without a smile, I wouldn’t be me.