I did two things before 11am today, common to my morning routine – I watched a TV show before work and I had coffee with a wise college student. The show was this week’s edition of Girls and the student was E., a smart sophomore on a pre-med track. Both prompted interesting and intertwining commentary in my mind about happiness and how we get there.
I watched E. thrive this winter break on Birthright, taking a lightness with him across the country. He absorbed ideas on spirituality and relationship building with wide eyes, seeking to get as much as he could out of the experience. Yet a month later, he’s back into the daily grind on campus, a weight on this shoulders that is visible. Classes challenge him, Gelman nights take up his time, and as he put it – he’s pursuing a plan but has yet to uncover an exact path.
Like all of us, E. wants what we all want – fulfillment and happiness derived from a career he really loves. But in the pursuit of a pre-med path, he has an estimated eleven years ahead of a long, slow slog through labs and textbooks. On ‘Girls’, Hannah pursues rich (but often difficult) experiences to tell the world about; but in the midst of the episode she questions – doesn’t she just want to be happy?
What do the dreams you are pursuing at GW have to do with the current sense of (un?)happiness in your life? Are you seeking some unknown destination called ‘happiness’ and missing a lot of the richness of life on your way there? (And is happiness overrated anyway?…)