What Is Happiness?


Today my French professor is dressed up as a medieval French soldier and in the middle of our French class the rest of the professors in the department came running in all dressed up as soldiers and they had a sword fight in the middle of the class. And then another guy dressed up as the Pope came in and then they all fake killed him. And then we went back to learning about adjectives.

I love college. That is all.

Okay, so the real reason I am writing this post is because it is because I was thinking today about how happy I am and have been these past two months, especially in comparison with last year. And then today in one of my classes during a discussion about the book we are reading (The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson, just in case you were curious) we ended up debating the concept of happiness. What is happiness?

One girl said that she thought the simple asking of the question implied that one wasn’t happy. I said that I would argue in favor of the opposite, because in the time right before the class I had just been recently thinking to myself about how happy I am. A guy brought up the point that feelings such as depression are very valid, and one can be depressed and still have happy days where they laugh and smile. And then another girl brought up the point that there is a difference between happiness and contentment.

Last year I was not happy. Or rather, in the context of my class discussion today, I was not content. It took me a while to realize that, and really by the time I did, I was within my last month of my stay in Brazil, and I felt like it was kind of too late to make a decision to go home, or take any other drastic measures along those lines. And then when I got home I spent the first month being really mad about how my exchange in Brazil had turned out.

Now I have been in school for about two months, and I’ve been home for four. (Only four! It seems like it was so long ago.) I can think back about my year abroad without being so emotionally attached that I’m completely irrational, though to say that I’m completely subjective is not the case at all. Let’s just say that I don’t think about Brazil and want to go around complaining and throttling members of the organization anymore. I do have a lot of thoughts about it though.

A day where I was very happy. Chiara and I went to a soccer game because we needed something to do.
A day where I was very happy. Chiara and I went to a soccer game because we needed something to do.

Like for the fact that I was generally discontent didn’t mean that I didn’t have times where I was overwhelmingly happy. Like the times I hung out with my friends and the trips I went on and the family I gained. I am very proud of the things I achieved while in Brazil, such as becoming conversationally fluent in Portuguese and learning more about the bus system than most of the Brazilians I hung out with regularly and the huge amount of confidence that I gained. I do not regret going there because of the things I ultimately gained. But I’m not sure I would say that I was content while there.

We made structures out of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti last Thursday.
We made structures out of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti last Thursday.

But the basic idea is that I am happier now. I am content. I LOVE college. I am taking great classes that make me think and I don’t feel trapped in an apartment and I am making friends and my social group isn’t only compiled of five people that I talk to regularly. I can leave the dorm without being scared that something might happen to me and I have something to do every day, and there are always things that are going on if I don’t have anything planned. I am not bored. There are also the other things about me understanding the language without having to think really hard and I enjoy American food and I can go to the grocery store and know that I will most likely find the ingredients I came for. Let’s just say every so often I look around and say, wow, here are all of the things I missed while I was gone.

Happy Halloween!

P.S. If you want to get notifications in your inbox about when I update, go subscribe! You know you want to!

I’m Baaaack!

happy fall
happy fall

Today I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps off of my phone because those are the two most distracting things in my life at the moment. Sit down to do homework, open Facebook, get up an hour later having done no homework. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time I gave the real world a try.

So what have I been up to? Biggest life change: going to college. The questions I am routinely asked: Where are you going to school? How did you choose said school? How do you like said school? What are you majoring in? What are you going to do with the rest of your life?

Question 1: The College of Wooster.

Question 2: I read a book plus I listened to my super knowledgeable and all around awesome uncle.

Question 3: I love said school.

Question 4: If I had to answer this question today, I would say I’m majoring in English and minoring in Political Science. If you had asked me yesterday I would have said that I’m majoring in Political Science and minoring in English. If you had asked me the day before that, I would have said I’m majoring in Political Science and minoring in Early Year Education. This is the most annoying and yet most persistent question I get asked. Also so many people outside of Wooster think I’m crazy for going to school without having my life figured out. Guess what? I don’t have my life figured out. Whatever. I’m not supposed to. I’m not concerned about it. This is not the thing that keeps me up at night.

Question 5: Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHAHA. Why are you asking me that question; can you hear how annoying you are sounding? (Incidentally, for the rest of my life, I plan on living. How I will live, now, that’s the real question.)

What does keep me up at night? Whether I have tomorrow’s reading done. Global warming and climate change and the environment in general. The United States political system and this year’s presidential election, as well as big business and lobbyists and whether they serve a democratic function to the government or not. (Talk to my parents — I was yelling at my books during fall break and they told me I shouldn’t do anymore homework with them present.)

I hope you enjoyed this short post! I’ll try to keep up with the blogging world on a more consistent basis.

I’m Going to College… Eventually

wooster20logo_422926704So I told you that I would update you guys on where I decided to go to College.

So here’s the story. I applied to seven smallish liberal arts schools. And then I had a freak out because I had this irrational thought (that’s my new favorite word because I’ve been using it a lot in my AP Psychology class) that I wouldn’t get into any of those schools so I applied on a whim to CSU-Pueblo which is a really easy school to get into because they have even lower standards than Colorado State University and I didn’t have to write an essay or fill out the Common App for them.

And then I got into six of the seven liberal arts schools (one of them weight-listed me) and also got into CSU-Pueblo. So basically eight for eight. It sounds like I am bragging and I am because I’m super proud of myself.

My cousin Katherine goes to Macalester College and I spent a few nights on her dorm room floor and loved it but they gave me exactly no money, so while Mac was super high on my list of schools to choose from, that decided it in itself because every other school gave me a lot of money.

And then I visited the College of Wooster to audition for a music scholarship and fell in love. Because it was Audition Weekend, Wooster went all out in order to make us feel like Wooster was the right choice. And, I tell you, it worked. They had this thing where after our auditions were over they gave us dinner and we sat with different people in the music department at Wooster. Like students, faculty, etc. I sat next to a fourth you in a button down tweed shirt and a bow tie and round glasses. Like Harry Potter glasses. I kid you not. And he was a member of the Wooster Quidditch Team and lives in the Quidditch house. So I was all like, sign me up right now.wooster-cricket-2jpg-2161873298eccf58

After the dinner, we divided into different groups depending on our instrument. The band instrument kids got to go participate in a band rehearsal, the orchestral instrument kids did the same thing, you get the idea. I sat next to the first chair clarinet and had a ton of fun because the music was awesome and they were just having a good time. At one point, the first chair (one of the only music majors in the group) told me to play his solos with him, so I said okay, and then when his solos came around he stopped playing. His solos became my solos. It was scary as heck, but also amazing. Wooster also has a marching band (they wear kilts and are led by bagpipes!!)

The next day, my mom and cousin and I went on an actual tour group of the campus. It basically just sold me more.

But I didn’t want to make a decision yet because I still had two other schools to visit: Trinity University and Knox College. At this point Trinity, Knox, and Wooster were my top three schools.

My mom and I visited Trinity together. I liked it. I didn’t love it. My dad and I visited Knox together on Admitted Student Day. I knew almost twenty minutes into the visit that I would be attending the College of Wooster.

I had no idea how much the “vibe” factored into my decision until I just knew and couldn’t really nail down a concrete reason of why.

A part of it was definitely the music. I knew that I wanted to be able to play in a band without necessarily being a music major which helped me narrow it down. Knox has a kick butt symphony and not a concert band. They have a good jazz band though. Me and my dad and a few other kids had a meeting with the jazz professor so we could ask her questions about my chances of getting into the symphony. However, at this point, I had already decided that I would be going to Wooster, so I almost had zero interest in going to listen to the professor. But I hadn’t told my dad yet since I wanted to hear his opinions before I did anything.

And then I got super low and kind of lost myself in the low blood sugar haziness that we all love and hate so I ate some smarties while I heard that it would be essentially impossible to be a part of the symphony.

At the end of the meeting, my dad asked me if he should go grill the professor about my chances of getting into the symphony, and that’s when I told him that I had already made my choice.

So, for the record, I will be attending the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio for the Class of 2020! I have deferred admission so I don’t have to reapply next year.13363192

Love you lots!