Nearly 25% of Yale undergrads enrolled in a “happiness” class, and we’d like to take it too
Do you ever feel like life is hitting you way too fast, and your personal happiness is suffering for it? We do too. And apparently, so do a quarter of Yale University undergraduate students.
According to The New York Times, 1,182 people are enrolled in the university’s “Psychology and the Good Life” course, which is roughly 25% of underclassmen. That makes Psyc 157 the most popular class in the Ivy League school’s history. The record was previously held by a class called “Psychology and the Law,” which attracted 1,050 students in 1992.
Taught by professor Laurie Santos, the course teaches students how to live a more fulfilling life. Um, sign us up, please.
“Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus,” Dr. Santos told The New York Times. “With one in four students at Yale taking it, if we see good habits, things like students showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, we’re actually seeding change in the school’s culture.”
The subject matter covers both positive psychology (the qualities that allow people to do well) and behavioral change (how to incorporate those traits into daily life). At the end of the course, students must complete called the “Hack Yo’self Project,” a self-improvement exercise.
And while this may sound like an easy way to score some credits, Dr. Santos says hers is “the hardest class at Yale.”
Why? For the course to be effective, you must hold yourself accountable every single day. AKA there’s no cramming for final exams. Still, we’d definitely be up for the challenge!
The class comes at a perfect time for Yale.
In 2013, a Yale College Council report found that “more than half of undergraduates sought mental health care” during their enrollment at the school. “In reality, a lot of us are anxious, stressed, unhappy, numb,” Yale freshman Alannah Maynez told The New York Times.
At a time when mental health stigma persists, we’re glad to see Yale students making self-care a priority. We just have one question: Does the class have a free online version?