What is happiness?


Special assistant in the office of general council Kendra Wilson defines what happiness is to her.

Jamie Brian

Happiness. How can nine letters create such a complex emotion?

Happiness can be elusive and stubborn, like fumbling around for a flashlight in the dark, only to discover that there are no batteries. But, when it’s finally within reach, it changes everything.

Happiness knows no gender, race or age. It can’t be easily understood or defined. You can’t hold it or put it in your pocket. It doesn’t have a business card or a favorite band.

Happiness may not even have a face, but somehow, it’s enough just to know happiness is there. Except for when it’s not. Happiness is a fickle friend. On the days you need it the most, happiness has a habit of hiding away in its own corner of the world, far away from where you are.

But it always comes back. It comes at different times in different faces and in different ways. Happiness is a shape shifter. Maybe, that’s what makes it so beautiful.

Here Kent State students share their definitions of happiness.

“Happiness comes from self-love,” Kendra Wilson, a special assistant in the Office of General Counsel, said. “I think in order to be happy in general, you need to be happy with who you are.”

“I want to have a healthy family and be able to work hard on something every day,” William Pullman, a junior special education major, said. “My family is the most important part of my life, so just being with them makes me happy.”

“Happiness is when I find myself between people who I would like to stay with and spend my time with,” Mohammed Shami, a junior aeronautics major, said.

“I think part of it is finding the person who can handle your crazy,” Drew Sheffield, a senior economics major, said. “That’s what my brother-in-law told me when he married my sister. You have to find someone you’re comfortable with.”

“Happiness, to me, is understanding what reality is and striving to make it better,” Hailey McCracken, a sophomore business management major said. 

“Happiness is a choice, and it’s a lifestyle,” Alanté Jones, a sophomore psychology major, said. “To actually be happy, you have to exhibit love for yourself and that same love for others.”

“Happiness is a state of complete joy,” Jessica Martucci, a junior early childhood education major, said. “Smile — Cause when you smile, that brings happiness to others and you.”