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Junior Journalist Update from Mead – By Ananya M.

hap·pi·ness

/ˈhapēnəs/

noun

the state of being happy.

Happiness is the feeling of pure bliss: How it feels when it’s 60 degrees in Chicago in the middle of winter. How it feels when you’re reunited with a parent who went on a long business trip. How it feels when you get an A on your Geometry test. The little things.

In District 54, March is the month we celebrate happiness. Mead does so by holding small activities throughout the month that the students and staff can look forward to though week. The whole event started with a kickoff assembly on March 1 to explain to the students and staff what the month of March would be like. The events included movies in the library after school, a student vs. staff dodgeball game and weekly public service announcements in the morning. We had teacher trivia during lunch on Fridays, pride week where we looked like our friends for a day, and crazy sock day on  Thursday! All of the festivities were more fun and wild than I could have ever imagined, but they all had one thing in common: The people that took part were extremely happy.

For me, however, I didn’t need the weekly events to boost morale before spring break. Every Sunday my father makes my sister and I sit down and tell him how our week went and what we’re grateful for. I never really gave any thought to that, but it makes my father happy, so we do it. In advocacy the Friday before the assembly, we learned different ways to make our lives happier (in honor of the month) and one was to write down and talk about what we were grateful for. It was then that I finally realized why my father made us talk about what we are grateful for. I noticed then how much more chipper I am at school every Monday morning than everyone else.

I used to not believe that writing down what you are grateful for could increase happiness. However, it’s true. I’m so much more mindful now, and it’s overall made my experience at Mead Junior High just that much better. So right now, I’m going to attempt to increase my happiness by recording what I am grateful for this month: Being able to see my friends every Monday after the weekend. Seeing my dog get better after being sick. Having a family who I can joke and laugh with. Being able to have an amazing education, as well as teachers. Having a roof over my head. Being able to go places, and travel. The fact that it’s 60 degrees in Chicago in the middle of winter. Being reunited with my father who went on a long business trip. Getting an A on my Geometry test. You know, the little things.