Learning To Be Happy
There’s actually a course at Yale University on how to lead a happier, more satisfying life. What’s more, the course has become the most popular one in Yale’s 316-year history – nearly one-quarter of the university’s undergraduates are enrolled. Psychology professor Laurie Santos, who teaches the course, suggested in an interview with The New York Times that in high school Yale students had to “deprioritize their happiness” to gain admission to the school. She felt this perceived necessity often led to harmful life habits that caused recognized mental health crises among students in recent years. One freshman told the Times that a lot of students are anxious, stressed, unhappy and numb. The happiness course focuses on positive psychology and behavioral change. While Dr. Santos describes her course as the hardest one at Yale, the Times reported that she doesn’t monitor whether students complete weekly assignments designed to help foster happiness, such as performing acts of kindness and forming new social connections. However, there are the usual college-course requirements – quizzes, a midterm exam and a final project on personal self-improvement. For those not enrolled at Yale, the course, “The Science of Well-Being”, is expected to be available free on Coursera, an online education platform.
David Shimer, “Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness.” The New York Times, January 26, 2018, nytimes.com/2018/01/26/nyregion/at-yale-class-on-happiness-draws-huge-crowd-laurie-santos.html
Also in this week’s bulletin: