02/26/2014 01:51 am ET Updated Apr 27, 2014

The Guide to Being Happy

As college students, it's really easy to feel weighed down by the countless homework assignments, the hours you spend slaving over your note cards for an exam, and the ten cups of coffee you need a day to keep you even slightly awake. When spending every day feeling like all you do is schoolwork, it can really start to become dark and depressing. There are a few simple ways to feel happy as a college student, and with our lives as hectic as they can get, it's important to find happiness in the small things.

Listen to happy music

About 80 percent of students around campus walk with their heads down looking at their phones and ear buds in their ears. If you're feeling a little down or worried about how you're going to possibly get your readings, assignments and studying done, your mood definitely won't improve by walking to class listening to "Say Something" by A Great Big World. Instead, select "Happy" by Pharell Williams and try frowning to that song, I dare you. It's really one of the simplest actions you can do. Your mood will instantly improve; and even if you only forget about your endless to-do list for as little as three minutes, it will make a difference.

Spend time with people who love you

It's tempting to close yourself off to your friends and family when you feel like that is the only way you will get anything done. Make sure you set aside time to spend time with the people who make you happiest, no matter how much work you have to get done. Even if it's calling them on the phone and venting to them about your busy schedule, they will understand, give you advice, and make you feel a little better for a few moments before returning to your work. Surrounding yourself with people who love and care about you will always make you the happiest.

Pamper yourself

Feeling happy really coincides with how you feel about yourself. Dedicating a little bit of your time to what makes you feel good is one of the best ways to feel overall happiness. Take a long nap, splurge on that pair of shoes every once in a while, eat that damn cupcake and just take some time to physically and mentally relax. The simple remedies of life that make you feel good inside will make a difference on your overall happiness.

Don't Over-Worry

As you begin to lose space to write your next assignment in your planner, you're going to start to worry and stress about how you will be able to get through this next week alive. Wasting your time stressing yourself out over everything you have to do will get you nowhere. Instead of constantly complaining and spending our energy worried how you will get everything done, take that energy and focus it into your schoolwork.

Be Productive

While it's incredibly important to listen to music, spend time with your loved ones, and pamper yourself, it is vital you remember why you are incorporating these tips into your life in the first place. Be driven to get your work done, don't spend the night watching Netflix before you have a big exam, and get your homework completed. Even though you may feel like you are being overwhelmed with a huge list of tasks to get done, once you accomplish them all you will feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and most importantly feel free to be happy.

By: Alison Keim, University of Iowa