What is a happy place? A place where you feel most comfortable? A place where you can be the barest you? Oxford Dictionary defines this multipurpose term as, a happy place which a person associates with happiness, visualized as a means of reducing stress, calming down; a happy state of mind. That is on a broader sense, to say the least. Each person has a different reason of why they are happy in a particular setting. After a stressful week or even just a day, a person can be cured simply by going to a certain location. That is why I’m typing away in the corner of my happy place. 108 W Beaver Ave, also known as Saint’s Café, but to me, the best location in State College, PA.
As I sit here, content and relieved, I started to think about if I shared this happy place with anyone else in the room. So I looked around. Most people are older than me, being that I am 18 most people in this college town are older than me, but these people look a lot older. I could guess about 3 out of the 25 people sitting here are undergraduates. Where do the majority of students that attend this school go for their necessary times of relaxation? Each college students needs at least an hour a day to relax, most don’t take it. For me, an hour at this cafè or a simple run could relax me but each college student has their own copping mechanisms.
A lot of characteristics in a person change once coming to college. A child becomes and adult and with that comes a lot of responsibilities. Many colleges undergo survey’s in hopes to uncover what makes college kids stressed or overwhelmed. They always receive the same results and claim stress is generated from many different areas such as environmental or social factors, but I challenge that.
In my psychology class we have been discussing adolescence and how it effects a person as they get older. After learning about many different ways children can be negatively effected by certain events that happened in their adolescences, I have developed a theory of why college kids need a happy place. Serotonin is a natural neurotransmitter that is released when a person is experiencing happiness. Most people believe that college will be the best four years of a persons life, and they probably will be, but nobody mentions the other stressful side that every college kid experiences. Most college kids say their happy place is at a bar or frat house. That is probably where they are experiencing the most fun they will have but a happy place is different than a fun place.
Serotonin will be released the most when in a persons in their happy place. This neurotransmitter regulates most things in the body that make a person feel content. It is also connected to depression, not scientifically proven yet, but most scientists believe that low levels of serotonin will increase the likelihood of becoming depressed. These are just a few reasons to why every college student needs a happy place. If each college student went to this place for an hour every few days, I strongly believe that their stress or uncomfortableness will decrease tremendously.