At The School of Happiness, we want to hear about how you feel about certain topics, we want to open conversations with you...
As part of this, we have regular viewings of movies, documentaries and current world events followed by debates, talks and conversations.
Together we build our critical thinking, problem-solving skills.
We also get together to share our story.
Almost every day, student hear anxiety-provoking stories from across the globe, yet many will be poor in their own stories; the stories of their anticipated rituals and rites of passage.
They have other stories though, of cancellation and loss.
Gather any group of students together and they spontaneously tell different stories — of how their formal was cancelled or modified; how their classes were delivered remotely; how they adjusted to the rules of social distancing; or how they missed the opportunity to celebrate their milestone birthday with friends.
The loss of significant events — whether traditions such as school graduation celebrations, or more mundane everyday losses such as routine sport or other extracurricular activities — can have profound, long-term impacts on students.
Rite-of-passage events, such as formals, are important cultural markers, cementing peer relationships and firming the foundations for ongoing well-being.
The telling of stories is a crucial coping device, enabling individuals to situate themselves in relation to a bigger event and to gain perspective on the human experience.
Young people can benefit from opportunities to create and remember stories, and to use storytelling as a way to come to terms with their experiences of the pandemic, to aid healing and to create optimism for the future — both for themselves and their communities.
Storytelling is crucial for promoting a sense of belonging and well-being. People telling stories as a way of dealing with topics such as trauma, anxiety and illness, are “encouraged to work through their experiences and reflect on and deepen their understanding of what really matters in their lives”.