The hype surrounding happiness


The happy, the unhappy and filling the gap

Happiness is a subject that has been much chewed over the past couple weeks here in Cobberland. With Symposium and the President’s Seminar having their entireties devoted to happiness, I would love to share my ideas on the subject.

Symposium’s take on happiness seemed to be in the vein of obtaining happiness yourself. Ways to get it, keep it and make it last. I went to a sessions talking about living apologetically and how it can cause an imbalanced life, apologizing for things you cannot change or things you had no knowledge of. Another session mentioned focusing on yourself, making yourself a happy person in order to help others. I think these are both things that are hard to argue against. I mean what good does it do you to dwell on and be constantly sorry for something that you can’t change? And what good does it do you to focus so much on others’ needs first that you essentially run dry?

I love symposium because we get to learn from students and professors alike that are giving their time and resources to teach something they are passionate about. Ignoring curriculum necessities, a session at symposium is a project of love, not a symptom of graduation requirements. So I find it incredibly interesting that we have so many people willing to teach us about happiness, but how is it being practiced at Concordia?

This brings me to the President’s Seminar. In the seminar it was mentioned that 76 percent of Concordia students and faculty are happy with the cobber community. Seventy-six percent. That’s fantastic! That’s over 2,000 people! However, whenever I see a statistic my initial instinct is to flip it around. Which puts us at 24 percent of those people surveyed who are unhappy — unhappy as a participant in a community that we sell almost packaged to every prospie that sets foot on these few square blocks we call home.

Why? WHY ARE YOU UNHAPPY? I mean Concordia is perfect, right? We all marry each other, never doubt our majors, joyfully do our homework and stay happily in our Concordia bubble. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, right? Since the seminar Friday I have been thinking of the more than 700 people who label themselves “unhappy” and I remember a post I saw on a confessions page–in no way affiliated with Concordia, no way–where a student had come out and said they felt unwelcome, sad and so unhappy they were looking into transferring. How was this student treated? Like a pariah. Comments of, “Well why don’t you leave?” “Good, get out!” “I hate these posts, pathetic.”

Surprising? I thought so too. Our community that works so hard to educate ourselves on being happy and gets tossed into prospie’s faces is a bit unpracticed.

Being happy is obviously very subjective. However we can never blame someone for not having the same inclusive experience we have had. We also have to be more realistic in our abilities to practice what we preach. In hindsight I know none of those people would make those comments now. I love my school, I wouldn’t trade anything I have experienced here for anything, and I am hoping everyone’s experience at symposium made them think more about their happiness and how they will attain it.

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