yalelayer logo full.jpg-2.jpeg

Want to submit a piece for The Yale Layer? Check out "Contribute to The Layer"!

What is this HUNT?

Below is an article published by Kate Swanson in her lifestyle blog The Happiness Hunt, which she launched with Dartmouth student Sierra Lyle. You can check out her wonderful blog here.  


Last year, Sierra and I decided to launch this blog. However, the one thing we failed to address is why we named it "The Happiness Hunt." So, in revamping the blog, posting more, and holding myself accountable for my own happiness hunt, I'm going to start over this whole introduction thing.

Happiness. Google it. In philosophy, happiness is translated from the Greek concept of eudaemonia, referring to the good life. The state of being happy. Happy: feeling or showing pleasure. Chuckling at life quirks, getting chills after seeing the most spectacular view, laughing until your abs hurt, screaming of joy, and smiling ear to ear — honestly it all seems a wee bit cheesy. And I hate that. Happiness shouldn't feel cheesy, but it does. I feel cliché writing this blog. At school, I feel like fewer and fewer people are attending the Woolsey hall lectures about happiness. Because what is the point of taking a class about happiness? I don't have time for that shit. You can tell me that jobs and grades and body image don't matter. Sure, okay. But you don't understand. I don't have time to talk about that stuff. I am super busy. I am trying to get good grades, so I can get a good job, so I can afford a nice gym, so I can live a nice life style, and so I can feel youthful forever—don't kill my vibe. A class on happiness is cliché and cheesy and obvious, I don't have time for it. Sorry, but that is that.

I am going to use a phrase that Psychology professor Laurie Santos continuously uses in Psych and the Good Life, one of my five courses this semester and the most enrolled course in Yale's history: "Imma pause to let this sink in."

This is sad. It might seem counterintuitive, but I want to address the stigma surrounding happiness. Some people have no issue following lifestyle blogs. I personally love them. Sierra and I created this lifestyle blog, because they tend to inspire us; we get fashion inspiration, food inspiration, life motivational-quote type inspiration etc. But then again, in full disclosure of being fully honest with you, we also created it because we thought if we made it dope, like really really dope, we could be famous. And sure there might be something hypocritical in wanting fame and happiness, but honestly sharing life's little quirks and "cheesy" pictures makes us quite happy. This might not work for some people and that is okay. But I also want to clarify that if this is what some people enjoy, or if this is something people are scared to enjoy because it's, quote, "cliché," let yourself enjoy the so-called "cheesy" things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

So, this is why we are revamping the blog. I want you to know that in this next year, this "hunt" is about what makes EACH of us happy — because we are all different (that line was cliché but don't cringe at it, because it's a lovely line: imma pause to let this sink in).

What makes me happy may not make Sierra happy and vice versa. Happiness, or the pursuit of it, is part of our community, but it does not need to be uniform. This is a hunt because it is individual, and what we think may make us happy may not always be what genuinely brings us joy.  

This is about what makes your abs hurt from laughing, what takes your breath away (cheesy again, but c'mon, just enjoy the moment). It is an individual process. Sierra will post her moments. I will post mine. Personally, I am going to use this space to hold myself accountable to hunt for my individual happiness. Sierra the same. The hope is that once we get going this will be a space for not just for us, but a space where multiple writers can share their experiences to inspire people who are feeling a little lost in their hunt.

In the class I mentioned before, called Psychology and the Good Life, a lot of people are critical, and rightfully so. I don't think anyone should go into a course without a critical lens; nevertheless, I personally love that it is holding me accountable and making me think about the concept of happiness— something very relevant to the theme of this blog. And one of the most salient points I have taken away thus far is that happiness takes work, so with that I will end this post by saying: hate it, love it, join us, don't, but, regardless, start your hunt. Make them abs hurt.



Healthy Body, Unhealthy Mind