Students have varied expectations from education and usually these expectations are shaped by how the society perceives ‘success’. Often it takes individuals a long time to ‘un-condition’ themselves and ‘realize’ what they would have ‘actually’ wanted out of the education they received. Due to this ‘lag-time’, most people begin to regret in their middle-ages or latter years. Working people begin to ‘regret’ their professional choices and even university students begin to have qualms about their subject picks.
They ‘regret’ because they begin to discover ‘aptitude’ and ‘happiness’ in an alternative field of work or craft. This realization dawns upon them as a result of life experiences and exposure. To begin with, the motivating factors, for selecting subjects and professions, for students could be; getting a well-paying job, opportunity to become famous, teacher’s attention, respect from peers and parents, but over time these reasons tend to change.
A truly happy student is one who is determined, disciplined and dedicated
At such transformational junctures in life, students must avoid drowning themselves in ‘regrets’. If they are truly seeking happiness from such life modifications, then they must recognize that life is a learning journey and everything that they have done or intend to do is interconnected. In that sense any educational training or professional experience they may have gained is worth honouring and not regretting.
Another important element of happiness for students is ‘acknowledgement’. Since acknowledgement fuels motivation, therefore it adds positively to the sense of happiness. When students are desirous of acknowledgement what they are truly seeking is recognition, respect and acceptance by those who matter to them. However, the happiness begins to dwindle when (a) students shift their focus from ‘I want to be acknowledged for something I did for myself’ to ‘I want to be acknowledged because I did something for you’ and (b) by ‘capping’ their potential to someone else’s optimum.
Both these factors eventually make the students ‘unhappy’. It makes them unhappy because their ‘innate potential’ remains ‘untapped’ and secondly because the student is trying to appease others by following their footsteps instead of charting her own path.
To enjoy life long happiness students must sow the seeds of goodness with courage, compassion and wisdom, early in their lives
To generate happiness, students should understand that the true purpose of ‘education’ is to ‘equip oneself with life skills’. Therefore, the true meaning of education should constitute of, not only ‘formal’ school or college education, but also the gamut of relationship experiences with friends and family and emotional and psychological aptitudes to manage disappointments as well as victories.
A truly happy student is one who is determined, disciplined and dedicated. To enjoy life long happiness students must sow the seeds of goodness with courage, compassion and wisdom, early in their lives.
SOME TAKE AWAYS FOR STUDENTS LOOKING FOR HAPPINESS
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This means let there be ‘multiple’ sources of happiness, so that if something is not working out in one department you can look for fulfilment in another department. When we focus at only one ‘ultimate’ source for our happiness, we become excessively dependent on it as well as egotistical
- Periodically connect with the various sources of happiness that you have developed for yourself
- Difficult times cause a lot of anxiety and fear therefore adapt and focus only on short term goals during such times
- If the monotony of your day to day life has taken the ‘spark’ away then learn a new skill
- It takes several years and many life experiences to ‘discover’ your favourite subject or area of interest, so don’t take your choices too seriously too early
- Parents of students should be ‘happy role models’ if they wish the same for their children
- Space out your time-table throughout the week to include various elements; study, work, family time, friend time, sports, arts, cultural programmes, volunteering
- Structure the work which requires conceptual learning but don’t excessively structure what you’re doing for fun
The circumstances around all of us are such that to experience happiness we all first need to redefine productivity. In the current scenario of lock-down due to COVID-19 pandemic productivity could mean anything from watering your plants to successfully completing your online assignments.
When you engage in any activity that gives you a sense of ‘value’, that you may be adding to yourself or adding a member of the household, it will automatically generate happiness. Finally, be realistic about your expectations from yourself and others around you, since the circumstantial set-up is quite limiting! ‘Socialization’ starts at home, and here we are, all ‘stuck’ at home with family.
So, make the most of this opportunity before stepping out again into the world to socialize with those beyond the realms of our homes.