Happy Students (Part Two)

For a class assignment, I was asked to interview someone. I decided I wanted to interview everyone instead.

I asked each person two questions:

  1. What makes you happy?
  2. Are you happy?

These were the answers.


44077928_2481588301867847_5542354278410092544_nJenna Aleski

Oh gosh. I love the satisfaction of helping somebody. That makes me really happy. It’s like when you notice that you’re working hard for someone and they appreciate it. I love making other people happy and making them smile, even if it’s like the stupid little things.

I mean, I live by the phrase, ‘fake it until you make it.’ So, I kind of convince myself that I’m happy. Even though in life you have your good and bad days, I just try to constantly tell myself it could be worse. So if I could answer the question, I’d say yeah.

20181011_114651Maura Barron

Like in a general sense or in a worldly sense? Being around people that make you feel accepted, sharing the same points of view, and you can be open with. They help you express yourself and become a better person. That also brings you closer together.

That one’s tough. In a general sense, I feel like yeah, I’m pretty happy. But when I take into retrospect everything that happens, I honestly think that this world is a hell that I’m living in and I was condemned for some reason to deal with some people’s bullshit. On a daily level, I’m pretty happy, but when I think about the world, it’s such a bummer. I want to fix it and to make everything happy but I know that’s not entirely possible.

20181004_220059Carlos Rodriguez

[Deep sigh.] Cats. And just being with people. That’s typically how it goes. Just having people to talk to. (Kaylee: I thought you said beating people!) Well, I mean, in video games.

Right now? Yeah, I’d say I’m happy. There are low points, obviously, but I’d say I’m pretty happy. That’s just the nature of being a science major.


Rachel Sloneker

[Look of shock] My people. I got friends on campus and I love them a lot. They make me happy. Also just a lot of things. I don’t know. I’m a generally happy person, it’s not hard to do.

Am I happy? Heck yeah I’m happy. I’m a happy person. I’m out here loving life. That sounds like a lie but I swear it’s not.


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Aijalon Brown

A lot of things. I would say positive people, positive surroundings, being treated with respect, and the little things that count.

I think I’m happy. I will say that last year at this time things were a little bit different, but I’m just taking it one day at a time. I’m focusing on what I’ve got to do.



20181004_223025Maria Bardis

What makes me happy? Laughing. Laughing and social interaction. But, I guess they kind of coincide, don’t they?

Yes ma’am. I am very, very happy. Look at you sliding things in there, I’m so proud of you. “Are you happy?” Like boom! Roasted. Do people not want to do this?




Bee Dettlinger

My mom. My sisters. My roommates. (Corrine—the roommate—smiles.) Chicken wings. Cheese fries. I’m going to let you finish writing. And coffee.

Right now? Yeah. I think right now I am. I’m pretty happy.





Corrine Silvio

Family, friends, my roommates, obviously. (Bee smiles.) I guess solo trips too. Being able to go off and do my own thing. I definitely, to be happy I like going on solo trips. If I’m feeling down or something, it helps boost that because I like travel.

I would say so. Yeah. That sounds right. I don’t know if I have anything to expand on? I feel great, I guess.



Logan Tomko

I enjoy creative pursuits. Also I got my girlfriend who I love. So that’s real good.

I’m a pretty happy person. I think I’m fairly satisfied with my lot in life.




Sam Leonard


Right now? I mean I guess so. I’m not like miserable but I could be better. I wish my teeth weren’t hurting. They just do this sometimes. They suck. Punk-ass teeth.


20181005_230833Voshon Kendrick

What makes me happy? Like anything? Friends, music. Music for sure. Just music actually. What makes me happy is making music, listening to music, thinking about music, writing music. Anything music related is making me happy.

No. Because I’m not making music for a living. And other reasons. I love how confident I was with that “No, I’m not happy.” Yeah, no, I’m not happy at all.


20181005_231039Ashley Brantley

Other peoples’ happiness.

Yes. I am very stressed, I feel like a lot of people are counting on me right now, and sometimes I feel like people are very hard on me. Sometimes that dampens my mood, but I know that ultimately I’m doing what’s best for me and what’s best for the people around me.




Joe Fitz

Just interacting with people around me and hanging out with great friends.

I’d say I’m very happy. With an exclamation point.




Megan Berg-Swope

My dog, Sadie. My friends and family. The color guard and winter guard.

Um, yeah? Sometimes. (Right now?) Yeah. I mean, on stressful days I’m not ecstatic.


5700_1538847900944Abby Cox

Oh man. What makes me happy? Should I just start listing things off? My family and my friends. Doing things that I like to do, reading, cooking. Oh my goodness, I don’t know.

Yeah, I am. I mean, well, I don’t know. I don’t think happiness is just something where you can say, “Yeah, I’m happy” or “No, I’m not happy.” Everybody has a bad day, or a set of bad days. Or a bad month, or week or year. But, I think personally, generally, I am a happy person.


Matt Grayo

My friends. Friends and family.

Yes, very. I just enjoy life. I find it very interesting, spending my time with people. Even when I’m in a bad mood, spending time with people makes me happy.

20181006_214359Seth Apple

That is a good question. My anti-depressants. I love doing special-effects makeup. It’s a weird hobby. It’s a great hobby. It’s fun seeing what weird thing I can come up with and put on someone’s face. It’s fun freaking people out with basically what’s just rubber. That’s really about it.

Yeah, about as happy as I’m gonna get for a while. Things could be better, but things could also be worse. Which is true all the time. I mean, right now I’m happier than I was yesterday, but for tomorrow, who knows?

Everyone who answered these questions is a student at my school. They all consented to the use of their pictures and answers.