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The Pursuit of Happiness

by Jun 21, 2019

Home » Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Student Blog » The Pursuit of Happiness

If someone came up to you and asked, “Are you happy?” Would you be able to answer that without pausing? There are no right or wrong answers.

Google defines happy as, “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”  At this moment, if I had to rate my happiness level on the VAS scale (that is, from 0 to 10) with 1 being: ‘Oh, dear we need to start infusing chocolate peanut butter ice cream through the IV to keep her steady STAT!’ and 10, being amazing: “As she walks, animals are trailing behind her as if she were Snow White, sprinkling fairy dust and spreading love and laughter to the world,” my rating would be 7 out of 10.

At this writing, I’m a 7, because I’m on “automatic pilot” keeping up with school and kickboxing…working to not fall below a 6. But if I look like I am about to hit a 5 on the scale, please go to Portillo’s and get me a chopped salad, a bacon burger, a side of fries with chili and cheese (I am not sharing), because it’s going downhill from there!

Rinas Tree

Is it possible to balance student life and the rest of life at the same time? It may not always feel like it, but it is possible. As I run from the car, late for my weekly quiz, I still take the time to appreciate National. The campus is well-kept with the swans happily swimming with their fuzzy babies; campus updates are being made inside and outside of the University’s buildings…but even more importantly, the University provides time and space to help support the faculty and student body. We have clubs where we can come together to be part of the campus community and voice concerns about anything, including the curriculum, or what to do while still in school, as well as what’s next once we graduate.

Some clubs are programmatic organizations for the majors we have on campus, but others include yoga, weekly student council, and/or guest speakers and seminars. Last week we had a seminar on mindfulness. Each week of last trimester, we had visiting speakers provide insight on how to manage a successful practice. These sessions were presented by some of the University’s alumni, and it was great to listen to their advice and see them as proof of success after graduation. 

We chose to come to National to better ourselves. Something told us to take the step—or some may say accept the risk—to begin something new. This new beginning may be the total opposite of what we were used to doing in the past.

Yet it’s a matter of perspective. As students, it’s important to keep in mind that when you fail a quiz or an exam, it’s not the end of the world. If others did better than you did, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. If we all did everything by the book or the same way as everyone else, we would all be following the pack just like Disney’s Minions.

Thankfully, we each have our own unique personalities. What makes one happy comes from within. Start with that and everything else in life is just a bonus!

: )

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About the Author

Rina Sem

Rina Sem

Rina Sem is a student at the Lombard, Illinois campus studying in the Master of Science-Oriental Medicine program. Though working in the medical field for 10 years, she is keeping the promise she made to her father to complete her master’s degree. Rina is a first-generation American of Cambodian heritage, and passionate about her studies in the field of complementary and alternative medicine.


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