Students are under constant stress and pressure from being in college, and that can take a toll on their mindsets. A group of friends decided to create a club that would promote positivity and make a space for de-stressing.
Live Positive, an Ohio University student organization, was created by Brittney Burchett, Emily Morris, Megan Thurston and Faith Carlisle, a group of sophomores who have been best friends since high school.
The four women came to OU and couldn’t find any clubs that really interested them, so they decided to start their own club. It’s centered around a cause they all agree they could use in their lives: positivity.
Burchett, studying psychology pre-law, is Live Positive’s president and wants the members of the club to come and spend some time focusing on something other than school.
“We created a space to take stress out of your weekly schedule, a place to come hang out and make friends and just take time out of your busy life because college is stressful,” Burchett said.
The four women created the group at the beginning of 2019’s spring semester. Last year, they had about 20 members. This year, the group has over 90 members.
Each week, the club meets in Bentley Hall on Wednesdays to try a new craft or activity. Before every meeting, Burchett sends out emails for RSVPs to the meetings so she knows how many materials to buy.
Morris, studying psychology, is the club’s vice president and loves watching the club members get excited about the activities.
“It’s nice to have a place to be creative and not have to think about yourself all the time,” Morris said. “Just to be given the tools to have fun with your friends in a safe space is amazing.”
The club executive board hosts a wide variety of activities, including painting Halloween decorations, making stickers and magnets and making DIY mason jar plants for dorm rooms.
They also like to get creative by using materials they already have from other crafts. Though sustainability isn’t one of their main focuses, they like to practice it as much as possible.
The club receives some money from the university, but the rest of the funding comes from member dues, which are $10 at the beginning of each semester, and out of pocket funds from the executive board members.
“I don’t have a problem investing my own money in it because I believe in it, and I feel like it can make a positive impact on people,” Burchett said.
Another way they fundraise is through merchandise for the club. Carlisle, studying exercise physiology, is in charge of media for the club and created the stickers and clothing line for the members to purchase.
Thurston, studying finance, is the treasurer of the club and is in charge of collecting dues and writing vouchers for university funds. She believes the club is most beneficial to underclassmen.
“I think it’s important because especially for underclassmen, it’s kind of hard to make new friends,” Thurston said. “We do this so people can build relationships with others while learning how to do new crafts.”
Though underclassmen may benefit from the space to make new friends, anyone is eligible to join Live Positive, at any time of the year.
Burchett’s favorite part of Live Positive is spreading the idea of positivity that she has always ranked as important in her life.
“I cannot stress this enough: I want everyone to have the mentality of ‘staying positive,’” Burchett said. “Yeah, life happens and we all go through things, but if you have a positive outlook on something, then that’s what really matters.”
Morris has struggled with her own mental health issues throughout her life, and positivity has been the driving force to keep going and persevere. It’s because of this that she wants to make spreading positivity her personal mission.
“Going through high school and especially my first year of college, I struggled with depression and anxiety, and I didn’t know where to begin fitting in,” Morris said. “So being at the lowest points of my life has driven me to make sure that doesn’t happen for others, and I want to act as their light at the end of the tunnel.”
More than anything, the four women have loved watching themselves grow and change along with the club.
“The four of us starting this organization together has given us tremendous leadership skills,” Burchett said. “The positivity that we all receive and give off from this is so important.”
Not only have the women had professional experience with the club, but their friendship has grown stronger through Live Positive’s creation.
“Yeah,” Morris said. “Having all gone through high school together, it’s been fun to watch our personal growth and our growth together as friends.”