I once received a compliment that made me laugh and smile. A classmate, who I’d only known for two weeks, made a rather blunt observation about my personality. Known for his smart aleck comments, he said to me, “You know what’s really cool about you? You’re smart, but you’re not a nerd.” Funnily enough, that is the most accurate way to describe the sort of person that I am today. Let me delve into why that is…
Being fun, as well as serious
Before I got to know my classmate, I knew he probably had preconceptions about me. That I was the sort of Asian who spent all their time studying and doing nothing else, that I was so serious that I didn’t have any sense of humour.
But over those two short weeks, I made inappropriate jokes that made him laugh. I retaliated when he made jibes at me. Our conversations were probably less about school than they were about something utterly ridiculous.
I had surprised him. He was expecting a stereotypical ‘nerd’: the sort of intellectual that had trouble interacting socially. But I wasn’t like that. Not at all.
I had impressed him because I didn’t let my intelligence stop me from having fun. I was the perfect balance between a person able to be ‘serious’, but also have ‘fun’ as well.
Why being ‘serious’ is important
Being ‘serious’ when the time calls for it, is a vital skill. Sometimes it’s about maintaining the right social behaviour in a situation: the social etiquette. We know not to laugh if our friend is going through a difficult time. We know not to make inappropriate jokes about a missing person on the news.
It’s also about our attitude towards life and how ‘seriously’ we take it. It’s about working hard towards an education or an occupation, because we know it’s an important aspect to moving forward with life. It’s about choosing to postpone a night out with friends to stay home and study.
When we have the maturity to know when it’s time to be ‘serious’, it means we know the appropriate thing to do in a situation. We are choosing to do what we need to do, as opposed to what we want to do.
Why having ‘fun’ is important
On the other hand, being able to have ‘fun’ as well, also brings along its own benefits.
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We can’t always be serious all the time; we need to be able to let loose once in a while. We need to be able to smile at silly things, make immature jokes, and watch films that do nothing but make us laugh. We need to smile at the simple things in life.
There is even science to back up the positive effects that a smile can have. Studies have shown that the act of smiling alone releases endorphins, which helps to improve a person’s mood. It also helps to reduce stress.
So let yourself laugh and smile once in a while, you’ll do your emotional and physical health a lot of good.
Balancing the fun and the serious
Being ‘serious’ about life and the responsibilities that comes with it, wouldn’t feel so rewarding without knowing that we could have a bit of ‘fun’ as well.
We need to realise that as much as life is about planning for the future, it is also about enjoying the present.
We need to find the balance between being serious and having fun.
- Just because you’re an intelligent person, doesn’t mean you’re can’t laugh at immature and inappropriate jokes.
- Just because you’re a hard worker, doesn’t mean you can’t be lazy at times, and
- Just because life gets busy, doesn’t mean you can’t fit in time with your family and friends.
We all need to find the right balance between the ‘fun’ and the ‘serious’, because neither parts of our personality can survive on their own.
We need to realise that having ‘fun’ at times doesn’t detract attention away from our ‘seriousness’, it just shows a different side to ourselves.
It’s just about finding the right balance between the two.
Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She is currently writing her first book.