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The concept of being happy is very the most overrated trend that Gen Z has come up with yet. Being happy can mean a hundred different things, but the reality is that happiness means a different thing to everyone. Stop looking at TikTok which defines what happiness is. Yes, trust me those TikTok girls with the perfect aesthetic life look very happy but that doesn’t mean that your happiness can’t come from staying in for the night and binge-watching Gilmore Girls with a side of pizza and soda. Over the past two years of the pandemic, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what my happiness means to me, so I want to share my insights a little more. 

Who are you 

We’re all college students, and the question “ Who am I” or “ What am I doing here” has come up at least once in our brains over the last couple of years. And the answer will remain unknown till the day we figure out what makes us happy. First thing, I may not know you but I know you are not that perfect aesthetic TikTok girl so stop trying to downgrade your happiness for someone else’s. Setting goals and desire to become someone you make up is a great start to becoming who you are. The method I used in this process was the infamous Fake it, till you make it. If being organized, clean, and productive is what causes your heart to skip a beat, then fake it until you are that girl. If you like messy, fun, and cozy vibes then girl, same. My key takeaway for this step is to figure out who you want to be and strive to be better than that. 

Finding your inner peace 

The amount of stress and overthinking that I went through for the last two years is worth a lifetime. But finding and learning from myself is what helped me get to the point of happiness. Finding the one thing that can calm you down in a moment of weakness will help you zen yourself out of the crazy you. That inner peace in yourself is a key factor to happiness because it can help you guide yourself towards acceptance. No one, and I mean NO ONE, in this world is perfect. The important step is to realize that you will only succeed after you fail. Failure is the most underrated feeling there is. Failure means you tried, you’re one step closer to being great and achieving your own goals. So, get on the slide, fall on your face, run back up, and try again. As days pass it’s important to realize that you are doing everything to the best you possibly can, and it is okay to feel proud of yourself at that moment. Small steps lead the trail to success. 

Pro-tip: Don’t overthink your inner peace. 

My personal inner peace comes through in the form of tears. Crying holds a strong negative connotation but the important part is that I realized crying is what truly brought me to a calm state of mind by accepting who I was. Your inner peace can be as simple or crazy as you’d like but the highlight of this truth to happiness is to truly accept who you are and what it takes to make you feel better. 

You may be reading this and think to yourself, why would I listen to an 18-year-old that cries over the smallest inconveniences. Well even though I am still climbing the mountain of happiness, I learned a lot through various experiences. I hope you take the words in, and instead of overthinking, take them as motivation and inspiration to be better. Be better for you. 

Hi! I'm Melody a current Communication and Leadership major at the University of Texas at Austin. I am a first-generation college student that comes from a small town in Mexico called Ibarra, Michoacan. Some of my current interests are cooking, coffee, dancing, social media, fashion and currently anything that relates to Taylor's Version.