ASWWU logo
Walla Walla, WA
Thursday, June 1, 2023

Justin’s Secrets to Happiness

December 5, 2022
Austin Price

Justin Corral’s Tips for Staying Positive Through Sad Times

Austin Price

There aren’t many students on campus who don’t know Justin Corral, senior biology major. Those few who don’t are missing out on knowing a person who is filled with a spirit of warmth and positivity and who values connecting with people. Corral understands how to deal with disappointing days by remembering what is truly important.  

Corral said that his secret to positivity really boils down to making other people happy: “I’m really extroverted. I love being around people.” [1] 

Corral explained simply that when you feel happy and when you ask others in a friendly tone how they are doing, it allows them to feel acknowledged. This leads to meaningful interactions whereas sticking to formulaic conversation leads to a lack of connection. [2] 

Corral further explained his affection for people and that he likes to “give them hugs, good feelings, and good vibes every day.” [3] 

However, Justin Corral is not a positivity-always-on-machine. He has his off days too, but what’s interesting is the way he finds encouragement even when he is feeling low.  

Corral is a part of the Walla Walla University cross-country team, and he said of a disappointing day he had last week, “I was at a cross-country race, and I didn’t run as fast as I wanted to. And when I got back, I talked to my teammates and started saying hi to friends again. It’s not that it lessened it in importance, it was more like I was just so happy to see other people.” [4] Corral continually mentions his love of people. 

Corral has a very honest approach to sadness and positivity — one that is similar to an article from Verywell Mind, where writer Kendra Cherry explained, “Positive thinking does not necessarily mean avoiding difficult situations. Instead, positive thinking means making the most of potential obstacles, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.” [5] 

Corral recounted a time he had trouble being positive: “I’m really bummed that for the last four years I’ve been running, preparing for cross-country, and I haven’t made it to nationals. This was my last shot, and I didn’t make it. I was really close last year, and I was kind of close this year. But anyways, I didn’t make it.” [6] 

Corral said that when he feels down, he has to remind himself “to be okay with grieving, with crying.” [7] 

It is important to make time to be sad, but once that time is over Corral pointed out that it is helpful to find happiness in little things. Corral does this by being grateful for nice weather and fresh air after a hard practice and being thankful for time spent with other people. Appreciating little things increases gratitude and, in turn, positivity. [8] 

Corral gave daily tips for students who want to be more positive in general.  

It is important to make time in the day to breathe and have a devotional: “Either I read, [listen to] music, or like today I went on a run while I was listening to the last part of Lamentations, and it was so good. [I] had my headphones on, ran for 20 minutes, stretched, and took a shower. And making time to be free I think is really essential when you already have a packed schedule.” [9]  

It can be difficult to know what to do during these moments, but Corral remarked that it’s good to know what you truly enjoy doing in your free time and stay away from the more mindless activities. He said to do things that “fill your soul.” [10] 

Corral also said that little breaks are useful tools to keep the mind fresh. He said, “A good student won’t just go to the library, spend eight hours there without getting up from their chair, get up then look at YouTube for 30 minutes and then go to bed. I feel like for your enjoyment of education, especially here in college, and for your own sanity, it’s good to have at least little breaks.” [11] 

If you bump into Corral on campus, remember what C.S. Lewis said: “We meet no ordinary people in our lives.” [12] Corral is truly an amazing person who has brightened the days of many students through his genuine friendliness and positivity. Maybe next time you can say hello to him first and make him smile.  



  1. Interview with Justin Corral, 11/10/22.

2-4. Ibid. 

  1. Kendra, C. (2022, February 25). What is positive thinking? Verywell Mind.
  2. Interview with Justin Corral, 11/10/22.

7-11. Ibid. 

  1. Ciancanelli, S. (d.). 10 inspiring C.S. Lewis quotes. Guideposts. lewis-quotes/
menuchevron-upchevron-downmenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram