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First-Year Community College Students Can Be Happy Too

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Nearly every human feels the need to seek happiness in the most effortless way possible. If humans find true meaning, they can tolerate more than those who do not have a reason. Having true happiness can also bring good health to one’s body. Only the person will be able to determine his or her happiness. The degree of happiness within young first-year community college students is something that can be achieved with effort. In 2018 the state of Tennessee had 30,442 new first-time community college students (‘General Enrollment’). Many of these students were faced with challenges; a domain characteristic of these challenges is being stressed. The problems that these students endure can be cured with happiness. Happiness can be established through three different ways: finding a meaning, stop complaining about simple problems, and knowing that happiness is not always easy to pursue.

First-year community college students face many obstacles within the path to get a degree. A common belief is that one’s college years are the best in life; however, studies have shown that student’s first year of classes are excruciating (Varelas). Professors are running into a major problem with new incoming students; evidence indicates that students are “underprepared in basic skills needed to succeed” (Varelas). If students come into college unprepared, they are going to have a hard time with the materials. First-year community college students also struggle with a lack of time management skills. Time management is a major key to success; it is learning “how to intertwine college with real life” (Cornell). If time management is not mastered within the first year, then grades can be negatively affected which can lead to a hard time passing. Another dilemma first-year students must navigate is alcohol and drug consumption. With college being a place where alcohol and drugs are easier to obtain, the chance and opportunity to engage with this activity will be more likely to occur. Recent research shows students are likely to consume alcohol and drugs within the first 6 months (Kenney). The obstacles first-year students face propels them into a strained lifestyle.

To begin with, first-year community college students can obtain happiness by finding true meaning in life. When one starts community college classes, one begins with a specific purpose and has a defined goal to achieve. While executing this goal, some may get lost within the heavy workload and the long hours spent involved at the institution. Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, expresses there was one specific characteristic that differentiated those who survived and those that did not: how much meaning they have in their lives (Smith). He observed that those who derived meaning from life can withstand more hardships than those who cannot (Smith). One way to derive meaning from life is to find purpose. Having a set meaning for pursuing a college degree is a crucial key to success.

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Another concept that can make first-year community college students happier is realizing that it is the journey itself where one derives happiness, not the achievement of the goal. This is the mindset of taking time and making sure one gives the best performance one can instead of rushing. For example, students should not rush through homework because if they do, they may not learn what they need to. Emphasizes on the journey is everything: “Happiness will not come from achieving a goal; it comes from the deed of making advancements towards a goal” (Myers). Taking the harder way to achieve a goal displays that one does not have a fixed mindset. The definition of a fixed mindset is the belief that one is unable to learn any more than one already knows. The opposite of having a fixed mindset would be having a growth mindset; a growth mindset is when one is open to learning new things. “They treat themselves with a degree of compassion that enables them to continue pursuing goals and thus achieve happiness” (Myers). Assuming that all first-year community college students have a growth mindset and believe the hardest path is the best to pursue issues this will assure them to have a happier experience

Lastly, first-year community college students can obtain happiness is to not complain about a slight issue faced. When one is complaining it tends to bring people down around them; thus making no one happy in the situation. If these students turned the situation around and found the good within it, then it will lead to happier times. “By thinking negatively about a specific topic, it can lead to thinking pessimistically about other things” (Stillman). If one has a positive outlook during their first year then they are more likely to see the happier side of situations throughout the rest of the time within the college.

In conclusion, first-year community college students may not see a way of being happy; however, it is possible to be happy during this dense period. First-year students are stressing and struggling with college-related issues, but the ways provided are a solution on how to be a happier individual. As being a first-year community college student, I feel extremely connected to all the issues mentioned and having a constant feeling of being stressed. Being in the situation of a first-year community college student, one must realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel which will lead to happiness. However, with the three ways of finding a mean, taking the longer path, and stop complaining. I believe happiness can pursue the stressful environment of being a first-year community college student. Struggling will be worth working hard to achieve the end goal.

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First-Year Community College Students Can Be Happy Too. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/first-year-community-college-students-can-be-happy-too/
“First-Year Community College Students Can Be Happy Too.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/first-year-community-college-students-can-be-happy-too/
First-Year Community College Students Can Be Happy Too. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/first-year-community-college-students-can-be-happy-too/> [Accessed 9 Dec. 2022].
First-Year Community College Students Can Be Happy Too [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/first-year-community-college-students-can-be-happy-too/
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