By Lauren Nehorai ’20
Happiness is defined as a state of good fortune, contentment and bliss. It can be considered a key to success or a spell that possesses the power to transform someone’s state of mind for the better. In addition to its emotional advantages, happiness is a valuable tool that can benefit people in other aspects of their lives.
Ensuring students’ happiness is a key motive of the school. It is a prominent theme in the mission statement aiming to be “a diverse and inclusive community united by the joyful pursuit of educational excellence.” Students said they believe this goal has been attained, describing school as a welcoming environment in which happiness is close within reach.
“School is a generally happy place, and people here are always smiling. All of the fun activities and we incorporate into each day at school make it even more enjoyable,” Laina Bolton ‘21 said.
For some, school can also be thought of as a stressful place. Between all of the activities students are involved in as well as the deadlines, tests and events that come along with them, finding time to relax can be difficult. Happiness can play an instrumental role in helping students perform well under stressful conditions and guide them through overwhelming times.
Methods of relaxation can serve as a short term solution to stress, but happiness does much more. It can be harder to achieve, but its effects are be life-changing.
Students can achieve happiness in a number of different ways. A popular way students alleviate stress and increase contentment is by spending time with their friends and family. Middle School Psychologist Kelly Decker said she believes that good relationships are essential to maintaining a happy life.
“The closer you are with the people you love, over time sustains feelings of joy, euphoria and happiness,” Decker said.
Many students also look to sports or other types of athletic activity for enjoyment. Decker explained that studies have proven that the more people move, the happier they tend to be because of the endorphins the body releases.
“Playing basketball makes me happy. Working together with my teammates and playing well in a game is an indescribable feeling,” Ryan Zoller ’22 said.
Another popular method of acquiring happiness is through artistic activities. Students look to performing and visual arts as an outlet to escape from the pressure of everyday life and take time for themselves.
“Choir is something I am really passionate about and is a class I look forward to every day. I think music is a great way to make people happy, especially during school hours,” Jake Schroeder ’20 said.
Random acts of kindness are also a quick and easy way of obtaining happiness and increasing that of others. Picking up trash, pushing in chairs, holding the door open or even greeting new people are all simple ways by which one can brighten others’ day and spread happiness throughout the school community. Happiness is something that all humans are capable of acquiring, but it is in the hands of the individual to let themselves accept it.