How Can You Control Your Happiness?


Erika Noftall

Happiness is arguably one of the most important aspects of life. It has been researched that every single person controls 40% of their own happiness, leaving the other 60% to the science of genetics and the environment. That’s a significant amount of control in the hands of each person. The 40% Club was created by Ronald DiBona at Franklin High School in hopes of teaching students to participate in activities where they can physically and mentally take control of their happiness and other emotions directly in their learning environment. The main goal of the club is to give students the opportunity to enjoy school and appreciate the value of receiving an education despite the workload they are given. 

Seniors Grace DeBoer and Kayla Laddin, enrolled in the Student Leadership class taught by Mrs. Smith, were assigned with creating a project that would benefit the school and community to make it a better place. They were able to get in touch with DiBona and after learning more about it they truly believed a group like this was needed at Ipswich High School. Grace DeBoer is the president of the 40% club at Ipswich High School. Her main job is to organize meetings, events, and projects and to lead by a positive example to really make a difference for other students.

In an interview, this was her insight she provided on the club, “I think the club is really great for the students. I feel that everyone will feel more in-touch with the whole community of our school. Otherwise, positive reminders throughout anyone’s day can make them happier. Even a simple note that says “you’re doing great” or “you look beautiful” in the bathroom mirror can make someone smile – and that’s our goal. And feeling happy is always beneficial to people!”

For the President of the club to have this view is very important and shows other students not involved in the community of the club that everyone is welcoming. The opportunity was presented to Grace to explain what the beginning of this club entails, this was her response “Currently, we’ve been putting up gratefulness posters to remind people they have a lot to be happy about. Then, we’ve been organizing creating bio-walls for the janitor and lunch staff, so students and faculty members get to know their names. We hope that’ll make IHS a more connected and positive environment. We also hope to play happy music on Mondays to boost positivity, write positive notes to people, and have meditations sessions in class. Anything to make IHS a happier place!”

Mrs. Smith is another important person in the making of the 40% club at IHS, as she is the teacher who assigned the project and the advisor of the club’s events. Her viewpoint on the club’s benefits is that “It is a good idea to have a club where kids can improve the climate and culture of the school and provide them with opportunities to give back and be involved in the school as well as the community”.  She strongly enjoys that this club will be student-driven, where students are able to take ownership of the work that goes into running the club and passing it on to younger students. “I think it’s really nice that there can be a community in school that is not run by teachers or faculty”.

Since school can be stressful, having an environment like this club could be a lifesaver for some people when they need to get away from the anxiety of school work, home work, social life and focus on the importance of mental health and keeping oneself happy and productive.