These past weeks have been strange for the entire IE community. Quarantine is not easy, the lockdown has me swinging around my thoughts, wondering many philosophical speculations, to be honest. One of my quarantine notions include the question that many psychologists have tried to conclude for years, yet it seems impossible to express it all in one specific answer; what is happiness? It is in moments like these, moments of deprivation, where everything and everyone we love is distanced from ourselves, that we actually start to value the things that once made us happy.
Moments, experiences, positive or negative outcomes, occurrences that make us grow and learn. Many of these can be classified as the “something” of happiness, but there is no specific answer. Thing is, happiness is unique in every way, for each and every one of us. Indeed, there is no universal definition of happiness.
“Happiness is everything? Now thinking, I can’t seem to describe it in a sentence.” Luisa, age 20.
Happiness is not just a single emotion or a state of mind. It is not something that you can look for, in fact, you’ll never find happiness if you continue to search for it. Happiness can come from the little things in your day to day life, whether it be an action, a person or a moment. Happiness can be described as a feeling of euphoria, causing your body and mind to feel relaxed and at ease, or maybe burst your heart in an unstoppable adrenaline beat, because it is subjective. Each person experiences happiness in different ways and different things make different people happy. And that’s the beautiful thing of it, this equation of different things enlightens everyone’s day.
“For me, happiness is something that happens everyday, I constantly create it with the things I do.” Omar, age 21.
The list of little joys we have in our beloved IE community once yearned for in this quarantine is quite extensive. After a deep search and understanding of what makes the student community happy, I’ve come to the conclusion that each one of us creates this happiness from within, and shares it with the ones loved. From soaking some Segovian sun outside the cafeteria to extended deadlines by professors to the long live pre’s before Irish to random road trips through dazzling Spanish cities. From the delicious Cave chocolate chip cookies to fun basketball games with the boys, to the fast runs towards the station to catch that bus to Madrid ready for an unforgettable night with friends. Even 100 Montaditos tapas make us happy. This is not only because we are an innovative community of students, but because we are also creators. We favored because we construct our moments, we conceive what makes us happy, and that my friend, is something which not even quarantine can take away from us.
Now you know that a question that seemed so simple, turned out to be the most difficult one out there. Still, it impresses me the thousands of ways an individual can interpret happiness. But whether it is a smile from a stranger in the aqueduct, sunsets in the Segovian hills, dinner in Da Marios, wines in Plaza Mayor, late-night walks after Irish; these moments are cherished, now highly valued and terrifically missed. Because without the overestimation of life circumstances, we can understand, not try to find, what happiness is all about.
A piece of side advice by yours truly,
Always remember to pursue happiness alone. You and only you, are responsible for your happiness.