This semester was my first as a college student, its been a very rough time and I’ve had a lot of learning to do and I’ve had a lot to adjust to as well. I’ve never lived away from my parents, and I’ve never had to share a room until now. Taking the Science of Happiness course here at VCU I think has actually really helped the adjustment and has made it a smoother transition for me. Learning about ways to deal with stress and incorporating that into my strengths has been an invaluable tool for me so far.
I’ve had to deal with some very difficult personal matters this semester such as my dog dying and my sister’s lifelong friend dying of an overdose. Those situations hit me really hard and seemingly made everything difficult for me to keep going but Mrs Walsh and the rest of the staff were really able to help me out and gave me a lot of advice to help get over these obstacles.
Being able to go out in the community that raised me was also something special, through this class I was able to go to Binford Middle School to present to a class there with my group which was very cool to me. I feel like we were really able to pass on a good amount of the knowledge that we learned in this course to a classroom of much younger individuals which should only benefit their understanding of that material for the future as well as our own because teaching is one of the best ways of learning something.
To conclude I would just like to say thank you to everyone involved with this class. From the staff, all the way to my fellow peers taking this class. For many of us our college journey is just beginning and I believe that this class has put us on a strong start to it. Good with finals everyone.
Since the last post, In class we have spent time learning about and discussing romantic relationships, more personality traits and substances that certain people could be prone to and Social and Emotional learning programs and how they work, as well as going deeper into the concept of positive psychology.
The romantic relationships unit did not exactly click with me because at the time I was going through some personal issues at home and it was impacting my ability to listen and be in the present situation at the time. Learning about the different personality traits and how certain types of people can be linked with certain substances was interesting to me and made a lot of sense to me once it was explained and everything.
The unit that I was easily most interested in was the Social and Emotional learning programs unit. This unit talked about these different programs that have been created and tested out in struggling school systems and we were able to see the results and the impact that they have had on the systems as well. The reason why this was so important to me is because I am a product of Richmond Public Schools which is a struggling school system that stems from a whole variety of problems. In high school I actually was part of a movement to raise awareness about our system and to help bring positive change to it. I believe that if more Social and Emotional learning programs were created and set up in the city, I believe that it may not have a great short term result all across the system due to middle and high school students being more unlikely to participate in them, but I believe that they could have a great long term impact if they are started early on and built from the elementary school kids. So I’ve actually reached out to some of my high school teachers and other members of this movement and have stated this idea and I plan on educating these people about these programs to hopefully create some in the city.
Since the last blog post, I have actually started to practice mindfulness exercises outside of the classroom in times of stress and as a way to help me get through certain classes. So far it has had a positive impact on me and it is something that is making me start to want to do it more often now.
The first few weeks of class were very informational for me when it comes to the topics that we discussed. I like how each week is a different topic that is still related to the previous topic and I like how we get a different professor for each topic as they are specialists in these respective fields. It also brings a different element to the classroom every time since we get someone new as we never know what that class will be like so that is rather exciting.
The activities we have done so far have been good for my knowledge about myself as well as each topic as well. Before I took the Flourishing survey, I thought I would be on the flourishing side but after I took it I was REALLY on the flourishing side which got me thinking deeply. Learning about Positive Psychology was something that was completely new to me and it surprised me how complex it was when I thought that it would be a very simple topic. So again that came to me as a huge surprise. Also, I absolutely loved the Liam Neesan “Taken” monologue, that really brightened up my day.
It was also really great that I took the strengths and weaknesses survey because it really made me think about whether I thought the results were accurate and really made me do some more self reflecting and resulted in more self realization.
The topic of about depression was by far my favorite and the one that I am most passionate about because I have gone through my own battles of depression and have educated myself before, during and after those battles and I have been passionate about spreading that knowledge about this issue to others so it was really nice for me to see that knowledge ive learned and re learn it as well as just seeing it in a classroom setting.
To really sum things up about these first few weeks, basically every topic has taught me something new and has made me think about myself and has even taught me more about myself than I knew before.