Happiness is a virtue that most Americans value in a culture of instant gratification and materialism. Only one in three Americans say they’re happy, and those rates have risen since 2009, according to Harris Poll. Seeking out joy in a world of idolizing objects leaves people disappointed, so it’s vital to remember the important things in life that are not just skin deep.
Junior Emma Mayfield recently transferred to RBHS from Christian Fellowship school at the beginning of second semester. Entering into a new school and going from a class of a dozen to a class of hundreds was a significant change in her life. Emma found happiness through friends, family and music.
“I really enjoy being around other people. [Probably] one of the main things that I enjoy is being surrounded by good friends. I love my family a lot. I have a younger sister that’s twelve and it’s like, I love helping people. That’s probably something that makes me really happy is I really appreciate it when I can make someone else happy. That’s what makes me joyful is seeing someone else that needs help and I can give them that, whether that be though advice or whether it be through lending them a hand physically. It really makes me happy to see other people succeed. I love music. I used to play piano. Whenever I sing, whenever I get to be around people that are passionate about music as well, and I just get to talk about it and all of the elements of how cool it can be to sing, play an instrument. I really love how it’s impacted me and how it’s shaped who I am. I can relate to a lot of different artists in a lot of different ways, and I really appreciate that. I think music has a lot to offer me, and I can pull different emotions from that and I can show people what I’m feeling through that. I really enjoy doing that because music can also help other people and I think that using music to help other people is really something important. The past two years have been the hardest. Just with high school kind of kicking off, and especially with sophomore and junior year, that can get really intense. I’ve lost my happiness in some ways, like whether it be through I’ll lose a friend because transferring schools was really hard. I didn’t keep in touch with some of the friends that I really hoped I would, and those relationships crumbled. As someone who’s really sensitive to that kind of thing and I’m really comfortable with people, and I really trust very easily, that can get really messy very quickly for me because I put my happiness in trust in people. I’m a very big people person. Other than that, I’d like to say that it [has] just been these past few years just trying to find out who I am and how I feel about myself. It’s very difficult to sometimes try and figure out who you are and you feel like you can’t talk to anyone about it and you can’t break out of your shell as easily. You just feel kind of secluded. I’m not good alone and I don’t like being isolated and I’m not happy when I’m alone and so when I do find myself feeling a certain way, I have a tendency to not share my feelings very easily. I’m not very good at expressing how I feel, but that’s why people make me so happy, because then they can show me how they care. I really like being surrounded by that, and that’s why my family and friends mean so much to me. That’s mainly, I guess, my big answer, is just trying to really express my feelings to other people and learning that other people really do care. I really think that someone doesn’t it’s just all in my head and I really need to learn to trust and to let them try and understand as I love to try and understand other people.”