As my last semester as a college student at VCU, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to take this class. One of the major lessons I learned this semester was how genetics and environment both shape who we are. I connected information from Dr. Dick’s lesson about twin studies to environment in that there is not one gene for ‘X issue’. Many times we think that because our family has a history (a gene) for a problem means that we are going to inherit that problem and have it come about in life. This is not necessarily true. Dr. Dick made a great point that genes are “disposition not destiny.” We can be disposed toward something, but can also change the likelihood that it actually will happen through environmental changes. Twin studies helped to determine that genetics is only 50% of what makes up our happiness (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon & Schkade, 2005). This was meaningful to me because it opened my eyes to more of the science behind happiness, as well as information on twin studies.
Another lesson I learned from class was that there are so many parts of our lives that we might not think of in regards to well-being. For example, career well-being – before listening to Ms. Sims’ lecture, I thought about what would make me happy if I took this certain job, but not really any other aspects (besides pay). Happiness and pay is important, but also understanding values is important as well to balance one’s well-being in the workplace. I connected Ms. Sims’ lecture to Dr. Walsh’s lecture on finding our strengths. In order to pursue well-being in a work aspect, knowing our strengths is vital to making sure we succeed. This connection was meaningful to me because it helped me choose what job I wanted to take after graduation!
In regards to Dr. Dick’s lecture, I want to commit to reminding myself that there are multiple aspects that make up someone’s happiness. In the immediate future, I want to continue to reflect on this idea. Down the road, I think that going back to notes I’ve taken on Dr. Dick’s lecture will be helpful in reviewing information. Well-being as a whole has been something that I have tried to be more cognizant of recently. Continuing to practice mindfulness will help me to pursue well-being in all aspects of my life (work, personal life, etc.). I think one change that I need to make in general in regards to well-being and sleep is putting away screens earlier. Often times looking at my phone right before I go to bed makes me not sleep as well.
I first want to start off by informing my personal network on lessons I have learned, and then spread information from there. Having conversations about the class with friends and family is one way that I have started to spread information I have learned. I want to continue posting on Facebook, and incorporate Instagram as well, into posting about mindfulness and “the science of happiness.”