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The West Boca Bullseye

The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye


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Are Students Happy at West Boca: an analysis on student perspective

Are Students Happy at West Boca: an analysis on student perspective

It’s interesting to see where life brings us. I mean, you never really know what’s going to happen. It feels like our entire lives, we’ve wasted our time watching other people, wondering why we could never be as happy as everyone else. We knew that it wasn’t real, but it felt real—real enough that it made us question our purpose of being here.

“Here” being school. The consensus of “the school experience” from students’ perspective seems to be that we’re all basically miserable, but none of us really know why we’re all that miserable. That is, in comparison to other people we should be grateful right? Even in comparison to each other, everyone has different experiences and struggles that we strive to hide from one another. But why do we do this?

For one, there’s a lot on our plates. Classes, credits, diplomas, teacher-student dynamics, homework, projects, quizzes, tests. Moreover the extracurriculars we push onto ourselves. Clubs, volunteering, sports, competitions, music, and art. It all adds up to be too much at times. And this pressure builds outwards. We inhabit this volcanic-pressure sort of environment and let it overwhelm us to the point where we become so jagged with molten rock that we attempt to jab each other in the sides to see who will crumble first– and who will be the last one standing.

But in reality… I think we’re all pretty decent. We’re all faced with this problem at one point. Questioning ourselves. Questioning whether it really is the things around us that we hate so much or whether it’s ourselves we hate rather than each other.

I’ve asked some students if they could describe their student life at West Boca in one word, and sure enough, the responses were along the lines of “crusty” and “annoying.” 

Of course there’s exceptions. From one student in particular, Valentina Zuazo, I received a particularly disparate response: “Limitless.” This perspective stood out to me because it was so distinctive from the general consensus of the students I had asked. Valentina explained how, “here at West Boca [High School] we get opportunities that other high school students don’t.” She pointed out how at this school, we have academies, AICE, and AP courses that many other schools in the near vicinity don’t have— a statement made credible by her membership in SGA (Student Government Association), which required trips to other schools and meetings with their student governments that provided such information.

Coming from the perspective of students who’ve (for the most part) always had access to this level of education, accepting what had been given to us seems to come easy. We are born with options, we grow with more opportunities, and we eventually fill the shoes of whatever we decide to go with— giving more thought to what we don’t get than what we have.

We’re thinking about it all wrong.

A psychology report from the National Library of Medicine states, “Research discoveries have revealed that many factors could affect academic success. These factors contain knowledge and information structures and identifying the inspirational elements such as beliefs, mentalities, and personal qualities” (Moussa & Ali, 2022). In a nutshell, success and happiness are directly tied. A key concept is that the two follow each other in a sort of never-ending cycle. A self-fulfilling prophecy if you will. When people feel a sense of “happiness,” they tend to succeed more, in turn feel more happy, and so on and so forth.

It’s safe to say that the majority of students are unhappy. However, I feel like this in large part through the perspective of students who aren’t trying to be happy. What I’m hinting at is that the way we think— the way we focus our perspective— changes how we feel and the way we feel holds power. If we aim our perspective towards trying to be more engaged, more keen, more “happy,” we open ourselves up to the possibility of more success and in return we feel less crappy.  

On a more subjective note, happiness takes effort. Happiness isn’t something to be obtained, it’s something to be experienced; two vastly different concepts. A lot of students seem to be waiting for happiness to be served up on a silver platter to them while they only care for themselves, taking the consequence of their own actions and words with little to no regard for others. As a student of WBHS, I see all too often that people are so immersed into their own experience that they forget that other ways of living exist; that just as we are the main character of our lives, other people are their own. Maybe if we could keep this somewhere in our mind as we move throughout our monotonous routines, we could be less hard on ourselves and on each other.

It’s time we take a step back and look at ourselves. Look at where we stand, both within our mindset and in relation to the world around us. What makes us unhappy? What makes us different? And what we can do to change the way we think. All in order to cultivate a better mindset for ourselves and the world around us. Open our eyes to the unique opportunities that we have and embrace the power of our newfound mindset. To move away from the destructive cycle we find ourselves trapped in.

It’s a challenge, but it’s a good shot for us to grow and transform. Let us strive to uplift one another, seek out the fragility in our experiences, and contribute positively to our shared adventure through education and life.

“Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come” (Mario Quintana).

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    Maya FrishmanSep 6, 2023 at 9:05 pm