By: Emilio Ortiz

So, IE decided to launch an event about happiness out of the blue? We’re in the middle of midterms and we are invited to “the happiness week”?

Is this a joke?

Can’t I just watch a quick 5 minute YouTube video of the Dalai Lama, absorb all his Yoda-like vibes, and leave with a smile on my face?

I know what you’re thinking… the happiness week sounds like a cheesy event that we hear about 3 months later from our overly uni-involved friend because we forgot to open Campus Life’s email. “It was probably in my spam folder,” we like to say to brush off our slightest feeling of FOMO.

It happens far too often. We have all these awesome activities going on around campus, but we miss them.

So you don’t want to be that person that tells their future grandkids that their university was so cool and hippie (and innovative) that they offered a freaking “happiness week,” and you missed it because you were thinking about that Bumble date that got away, right?

No, there won’t be any free Qatar Airlines tickets.

But there will be, however, much more intrinsic rewards such as personal growth, facing discomfort, meeting like-minded people, and eye-opening speakers and workshops (maybe some raffles here and there).

I found out last year that IE had a Center for Health, Well-being, and Happiness. What’s the first image that pops up? A ton of yoga teachers and therapists running around campus yelling at students to “smile!”. Or is that just my imagination?

Well actually, I started to dive into what they were doing, and what I found blew me away.

The first of its kind in European education.

Can someone just say “Driving Innovation” one more time, please?

Last year, the Center of Health, Well-being, and Happiness was launched with the mission to provide students, staff, faculty, and alumni a way to “perform at our best now, and to develop critical skills to live and work well along [our] life pathways. And to do this [they] draw findings and methodologies from science — medical science, health science, and positive psychology.”

They’ve piloted 6-week seminar programs around areas like optimal nutrition, attention-management, and even vitality/fitness.

If you hadn’t heard about it and you find yourself in one of your last years at university, hop in on this awesome initiative now! I bet those future grandkids of yours will appreciate that not all your uni years were spent hitting those clubs. You can completely omit that phase and instead tell them the stories of your dazzling time at “the happiness week.”

And it’s pretty cool that IE took yet another innovation leap towards making a mark on global education, right? Who would have thought that a university would be introducing topics like mind, body, and soul?

Don’t say we didn’t tell you.

So, if you’re reading this wanting to keep cringing at the writer’s jokes, let me tell you that this is the part where I announce what’s going down at “the happiness week.”

Our theme for this week: Resurgence: Unbecome to Become.

Resurgence is “the act of increasing or reviving after a period of little activity, popularity, or occurrence.”

Did someone say pandemic?

It wasn’t so long ago that we were forced to lockdown in our homes, co-live with our smelly brother, and start rethinking our whole life purpose. We started to ask deeper questions like, “Who am I without being around my friends?”, “Who am I without being the student that compliments their professors before class?”, and “Who am I without cruising late to class in my Uber Tesla?”

We all wear these masks that we identify with, and we go about our lives with these layers that hold us back from showing up as our authentic selves.

Being stuck in confinement also forced a lot of us to go within ourselves. It was scary at first. We tried to distract ourselves with hours on TikTok and catching up on all the Netflix series available. Finally, we gave in and started to listen to that internal voice.

Now, we are starting to witness the after-effects of all these self-realizations. The problem is that many of us may have not received any “how-to manual” on integrating these sudden changes in our lives.

As a start, it would serve us to learn how to “Unbecome to Become” and start peeling back those layers to make room for a newer, upgraded version of ourselves.

Introducing: The Happiness Week, an immersive, knowledge packed week with 15+ diverse events aimed at elevating our understanding around the tools of our mind, body, soul, and vocation, to resurge from the chaos and cultivate a new direction filled with growth, purpose, and community.

You’ll have the chance to get out of your comfort zone and try new things such as an interactive virtual cooking session with the creators of Mindfoodness, a masterclass on the future of remote work and productivity hacks, trying out Jivamukti yoga, a workshop to balance your “Qi Energy” and much more! (check out the full schedule here)

Why Now?

The outer world has changed a lot. We were never taught to go within ourselves. These times require self-awareness and resilience to thrive. And no matter the external situation, our health, well-being, and happiness are cultivated from within first.

For Who?

IE students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are seeking to break from the chaos, learn from real experts, and build a community of people who are filled with the drive to unbecome and become better.

When:

March 22nd to March 26th.

There will be various events going on each day, so check the calendar schedule here to not miss out on your favourites!

Where to register:

Campus Groups (link here) — register for the individual events that catch your eye quickly because on-campus spots are limited.

We look forward to seeing you there! This was a student-led initiative created by the students for the IE Community. Our team was filled with awesome, passionate people that had the highest intentions to bring meaningful events to our campus.

All the love and gratitude,

The Student Advisory Board for the Happiness Centre

Written by: Emilio Ortiz, Happiness Week Project Manager, Fourth Year (BBA)

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