What is Happiness?

What is happiness? I really can’t define it, but I believe that each day we tend to seek it out. Happiness can be simple, like sitting with your friends at lunch, or going to a concert. A misconception on happiness is that we have to do amazing things like skiing in Aspen to travelling to the Caribbean. Over the years, those misconceptions have been getting stronger, because our lives are constantly defined by social media. We feel the need to be constantly happy because, on social media, we see other people post the best things about themselves. Posting happy pictures is not a crime—however, it creates a universe where people start to set up what they want other people to see their lives as.

I wanted to change the way we think about our “best” pictures, so I came up with the goal to take a random picture. This would help people stop thinking about what photos look good and just capture their own happiness. The rule is to keep the polaroid with them the whole day and simply snap a picture.

Why a polaroid? It’s pretty simple: we live in a digital world where people take thousands of photos on their phones. I want to people to forget about their phone and digital camera, so they could take a hard copy photo. They have one shot to capture one moment. It's a unique moment because it’s a moment that they can not share with the world.

Here are some of the moments my friends and I captured; I hope they inspire your happiness, too!

 

Who: Myself

When: 6:00pm January 27, 2017

Where: Mather

Why: I decided to take a photo of my surrounding area. The wall in the photo is my room, and on my wall I have a chalkboard that I can put up quotes. I love coming back from a tiring day and looking at my wall because it does not only inspire me artistically to draw something but also mentally. The quote reminds me that being weird and crazy is not bad. I also took this photo because I love the aesthetic of my room.

 

Who: Selam B.

When: 5:50 PM, February 1 2017

Where: Lower Peirce dining room

Why: “I saw my friend, Katie, get back her bid from a sorority. Her happiness made me happy. I tend to get really happy for other people when they are happy so I thought it was a great moment to take a picture of!”

 

Who: Allison T.

When: 11:35 PM, January 31 2017

Where: Mather

Why: “I love Kenyon late night talks with my best friends. I realized that these are the moments of the day where I don’t have to be stressed out about homework or exams. I am just in the moment with my friends. In this moment, we just talk and play oldies but goodies 2000s music for hours. I am really lucky to have awesome friends.”

 

Who: Ben H.

When: February 2 2017

Where: Olin  

Why: “I always appreciate a friend’s help while studying for Spanish!”

 

Personally, I found these photos to be really insightful, and I really appreciated the opportunity to see other people's happiness for a brief second. Also, I am happy that I could be a part of someone's happiness too. I also found it interesting that I paid more attention to the things I liked to do when I was taking my photos. I realized that small things like hanging out with my friends, doing my makeup, and just chilling out, make me happy and help me become who I am. My end goal was to help people realize that everyday and every moment may not be the best, but that you don’t have to do anything spectacular to find happiness in your everyday life. I hope these pictures helped you think about capturing your happiness, too!

Image credits: Katie Zervas