The Definition of Happiness


Alexa Gibbons

Seniors Payton Jones and Lexie Gibbons, alongside sophomores Olivia Gibbons and Callie Jones pose for a selfie in the car after the first day of school.

Each phase of our lives is orchestrated through the highs and lows of our well being. It is impossible to see how these will flow into the future, however it is easy to look through the past and sense how each and every moment felt through the pain. Happiness cannot be defined once, as it is multiversal and changes throughout the span of a lifetime.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that the definition of happiness is, “A state of well-being and contentment: Joy.” While the dictionary solidifies the utmost definition of happiness, I cannot. We as high schoolers grow and change with every moment, as does our sense of joy. 

For many, happiness may look like good grades, a successful friend group, submitting all of your assignments on time, or simply just making it through the week. Our joy cannot be defined into a single sentence, but more so the many factors that play into each and every day. 

Ross High School senior Brianna Gildea stated, “The definition of happiness is mainly described by who you decide to surround yourself with in that period of time. I think that our own personal opinion of happiness can change by how we as people grow and how the people around us grow.”

Another factor in overall joy is our friendships. My father has always told me that as I grow older, seasons will change and so will the people. Looking back, I understand this better than ever. The vast difference between who you hang out with at the beginning of high school versus who you choose to be near at the end of high school can make the world of a difference. As you live through the experiences that will define you, it can cause you to grow towards people you didn’t know would have such an impact on you later on. 

RHS senior Lily Pingelton stated, “Well if I’m being completely [honest], when the seasons change to winter I struggle really [badly] with depression and anxiety. But I think that because this is something a lot of people have happen, it forces all of us to come closer; family, friends, significant others etc. Like you see your family for the holidays and that’s something small that brings you joy.”

Little moments tend to accumulate over time bringing peace where chaos once resided. You may have once dreaded family dinners and old traditions. However, they can now be looked back at with a sense of joy, for these were the moments that cannot be replicated. The end will near, and chapters will close. Nonetheless, the end can be seen in a multitude of ways. One of them being the start of an unforeseen beginning. 

Gildea stated, “Happiness can be found in everything you do, no matter how hard or difficult it may seem. And even though it’s difficult to see sometimes, everyone will experience it.”

Once immense joy, can now be found in the ruins of happily ever after. If you are not awakened to each and every day, you will never stumbled upon the place of your next true happiness.