Happiness at Arvada West


Caius Krohnfeldt

What makes Arvada West students smile?

High school is not often regarded as a place of general happiness. People are not typically fond of this transitional period in their lives. It’s always full of drama. Full of anxiety and stress over one thing or another. Lots of high school students struggle with their mental health. 

According to the NEA (National Education Association) 70 percent of high school students in the U.S. report anxiety and depression being a major issue among their peers, and an additional 26 percent reporting that it is a minor problem. Only 4 percent report it not being a problem at all. 

Despite all this it’s not all dark clouds and demons. Many high school students at A-West have reported being happy, and that’s not to say they don’t suffer from these issues, but being happy is a step in the right direction. In a survey of 80 A-West students, 67 percent of student responses reported being happy. The survey also anonymously asked why the students were happy if they reported that they were. Here are some of those responses. 


NOTE: All responses given were anonymous and shall remain undisclosed. Grammatical errors made in responses have been fixed to increase readability. 


  • “Sure there are things that could be better in my life, but there are a lot of things that are going really great (I’m drinking water daily, I have all A’s, I have no missing work, I’m not stressed about anything – nothing major – and I’m becoming more of an adult every day of my senior year) and i think just having no negativity is what makes me happy”


  • “IDK why really, I guess I’m ignorant? I bounce back really well. I am a female with almost all male friends and it is a fact that girls with guy friends are less depressed, because there is less drama. Also I’m kinda just numb to bad stuff. I listen to happy music? I prioritize my mental heath, I know myself and how to get myself out of a bad place.”


  • “I am definitely not happy all the time or happy even half of the time but, You just can’t give up.”


  • “Nothing bad with my life, nothing to complain about while others have so much to deal with.”


  • “I had a great day today with my friends and family.”


  • “You have to live life with the best people which I have around me and I spend time with them. “Never buy a dead person flowers cause they are never going to smell them” CashNasty”


  • “I don’t have a reason to be happy except for thinking about the future I’m gonna live in and potentially having a better boyfriend this year”

These responses truly showcase the beauty of happiness. Students are finding it even when they know they shouldn’t be able to. There’s positivity in the little things. Some of these people just had a good day. Some are steadfast in their pursuit of happiness even if it becomes futile sometimes. There’s hope and love and understanding. This is the side of mental health that we don’t often get to see. The happy side. The strength and resilience of students at this school. There’s always something that can make you happy. You just have to look for it.