What is Happiness?

Sofie Nehlsen

In today’s day and age, it can be difficult to find something to be happy about. The polar ice caps are melting, North Korea is testing atomic weapons, and according to Time Magazine, more than 40 percent of the citizens in Puerto Rico still don’t have electricity due to recent hurricanes.
But where there’s sadness and tragedy, there’s also happiness, and if we take the time to look around us, we can find many things to smile about. Here’s a few examples of what makes the students and staff of Loy Norrix happy.
Miranda Cole, sophomore 

Miranda Cole’s happiest moments was when she won Miss Upper Midwest. Photo Credit / MAC Paparazzi

“Happiness to me is being successful in your life and being kind to the people around you,” said sophomore, Miranda Cole. Miranda feels the happiest around her friends. “My friends always make me happy. They know me and they are always there for me. Something that makes me unhappy is unnecessary drama, but my friends definitely help,” said Cole. Miranda’s happiest moment was when she won the Miss Upper Midwest pageant in 2016. Miranda said, “I had been trying for 10 years, but I just kept placing first runner-up. That [winning the pageant] was a very successful and happy moment for me.”          
Katlyn Poremski-Scott feels the happiest with her boyfriend Ryan.

Katlyn Poremski-Scott, sophomore    
“Happiness to me is the feeling of joy that you’ve never experienced. It’s like a pleasure that you get from something or someone and you just don’t know how to describe it,” said 15-year-old Katlyn Poremski-Scott. Katlyn is a sophomore and just transferred to Loy Norrix. “I felt happy when I met my current boyfriend, Ryan. I was in a time of sorrow with my family and my ex-boyfriend, and Ryan just made me happy and forget about all of it,” said Katlyn.                                                                        
Matthew Vestal, sophomore
Matthew enjoys being out on the water because it calms him. Photo Credit / Sofie Nehlsen

“Happiness is a feeling that we all strive to have and drives us to do what we do. I think there’s happiness in accomplishment and in company and just in small everyday actions,” said sophomore Matthew Vestal. Matthew enjoys being out on the water because he feels it clears his mind and calms him. “I was once teaching my sister how to paddle board, and she’s not the best at it, so I decided to ram my paddle board into hers. I watched her fall and as her little brother, I find great pride and joy in that,” said Matthew.
Erin Middleton, assistant principal
Seeing kids being successful brings Erin Middleton great joy. Photo Credit / Sofie Nehlsen

“Happiness is a mood, I feel like I think it’s something that you can control. There are events that can affect your happiness but ultimately you have the control of your emotions,” said Assistant Principal Erin Middleton. Something that brings Erin Middleton joy is seeing kids being successful. “There’s a certain happiness in small gestures. Just the sun being out brings a sense of happiness. If we have students doing amazing things and being featured in the news is another sense of happiness,” said Middleton.
Ismael Enriquez, junior
Ismael Enriquez feels happy when his hard work pays off. Photo Credit / Mia May

“When you feel like nothing can really bring you down and you just can’t help but smile, that’s happiness to me. When you find joy in everyday activities like just walking down the street,” said junior Ismael Enriquez. Ismael has been a wrestler since his freshman year and winning a match makes him happy. “It’s [winning a wrestling match] something that I work very hard for. Especially the very tough matches make me happy because I know it’s something that I earned,” said Ismael.
Anthony Chubb, sophomore
Expressing himself through art makes Anthony Chubb happy. Photo Credit / Sofie Nehlsen

“There’s definitely different kinds of happiness. Every now and then something great happens that can be a long lasting happiness,” said sophomore Anthony Chubb. Anthony has been into art his entire life. He gets it from his dad, he says, and prefers to draw abstract drawings with a deeper meaning. “Doing art makes me very happy. It lets me make my own stuff and express myself in a specific way,” said Chubb.   
Happiness is a broad, hard-to-define term. There’s no clear definition of what exactly it is. To some it’s the fuzzy feeling you get in your tummy when you look at your crush, or the way your heart beats faster when you accomplish something you worked hard for.
There’s the long-lasting kind of happiness. The one you get from being content with your life, the one most people strive to have. Then there are the small things. Things that make everyday tolerable. It could be when you finally understand that one chemistry assignment or when your mom brings you a cookie.
Everyone is so focused on achieving big, long-lasting joy that it is easy to forget to appreciate the small, everyday miracles. Tragedies happen all around us, shootings, war, etc. and it can be hard to look past all of that, but if we try really hard then I’m sure we could all come up with at least one thing that makes us smile.