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A break from reality: Things that make The National Student happy


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In the wake of the recent bleak news, writers at the National Student talk about what makes them happy.

We all know that the news is typically negative, focusing on disasters and tragedies that tear through countries, leaving people forever changed in their wake.

However the last few weeks have offered especially grim reading, with unbearable tragedy and unfathomable loss around every corner. From the recent terror attacks in England, Mali and Belgium, to the horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London and forest fires in Portugal, the news has offered nothing but pain and fear.

With this in mind our writers at The National Student have decided to write about what makes them happy, in the hopes that this might bring some joy into the lives of others.

Kirstie Sutherland:

“Doing crosswords on a long train journey. The moment the lights go down at the start of a concert. The satisfying feeling of reading a whole book in one sitting. New stationary. Colour-coded notes. Acoustic guitar on a warm summer day”.

Emili Frances:

“When a dog says hello to you. When someone compliments you and you haven’t tried to make an effort. The crunch of carrot sticks. Opening an unexpected happy letter from a relative. When a stranger in the lift tells you to have a great day. Cats looking cute. Watching the opening number of a musical that you've never seen before”.

Borislava Todorova:

“A delivery arriving earlier than expected. Random dogs or cats remembering you. The smell of new books. The matte surface of a Kindle. Getting a good mark at university. The feeling when you meet a really cool interviewee. Random, unexpected (and polite) compliments from strangers. The smell of freshly brewed espresso. Buying a new pack of tea”.

Georgia Luckhurst:

“Sinking into a sofa. Coming into the house and smelling a home-cooked meal. Hearing a song you loved but had forgotten playing on the radio. Looking back at an old photo and remembering exactly how happy you were the moment it was taken”.

Lucy Fletcher:

“Seeing your favourite band perform live for the first time. The first Pimms of Summer. Eating oranges and apples from cut up slices. Scissors gliding through paper. Indoor plants. Outdoor plants. Cats that sit with their tongue out. Dogs bumping noses with each other. Burning a new candle. Turning on fairy lights once you've finally replaced the batteries. Watermelon juice. La La Land. Signed copies of albums. Donating to a friend who is fundraising. Films with interlinking storylines, such as Love Actually. Victoria Wood. Getting a higher grade than you expected on a piece of work. Finding money in the pockets of clothes you haven't worn in a while. Meme culture. Birthday messages. Peter Kay. Buying from an independent artist”.

Anneka Honeyball:

“Post that isn't junk mail. When cats roll around in the sun with their bellies on full display. The super satisfying hissing sound when you open a can of ice cold coke. The gradual thrill of starting a new series and realising that you love it. The contentment of crossing off things you've done on a to-do list. Writing said to-do list. Having a cool shower at the end of a really hot day”.

Liam Taft:

“Finding a great book for 50p in a charity shop. Finding great food in the reduced section at Tescos. Lady Gaga's existence. The satisfaction of writing a good article. Falling into your lover's arms after weeks of being apart”.

Maddy Grace Stewart:

“Walking in grass barefoot. Drinking ice coffee on a hot day. Making a stranger smile. Baking fresh brownies or cookies. The smell of the air in the summer after it rains. Swimming in the sea. Taking off your bra at the end of a long day”.

Grace Harris:

“The first sip of a perfectly brewed cup of tea  or a perfectly balanced G&T”.

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