I’m taking a social psychology class taught by Professor Mary Inman, and although it’s a half-semester class, I’m learning an abundant amount of really cool information.
One thing I thought I’d share with you is a concept we learned yesterday. Maybe you already know about it. I understood the feelings but never knew there was a precise term.
Flow is in the moments your eyes light up. It’s the hour you spend working on that last chemistry problem and you finally see the green “correct” answer box on CAPA. It’s the poster presentation at Van Andel Institute where you finally look back and say, Dang. That was really cool. Do you know what I’m talking about?
My professor put it a great way. She described flow as having a great challenge but having the intricate skill set to work through the challenge, though it may not be easy.
In our study of happiness, we have read that flow IS happiness. You don’t actually want to spend a week in your bed sleeping… well maybe you do, but you’ll realize that it doesn’t make you happy. It’s using your skills and learning new things, meeting new people, and absorbing new experiences that really make moments worth living for.
I find myself more and more experiencing flow throughout my days at Hope. Sometimes it gets monotonous, studying all day without ceasing. But on Saturday I had the chance to head over to Van Andel Institute with the Fraley lab, where we each presented a research project we have been working on. Over 350 students, professors, and community members from around west Michigan were there, and it was fascinating roaming through the posters and seeing what our peers are doing at their own schools. Especially at Hope, we have some awesome research being done.
As you wade through college applications or maybe you have just started looking at different schools, introspectively take a moment to reflect your current moments of flow. Will your future school allow you to have these moments? Even maximize these moments? It’s not always the resources available to you, but also how you utilize the resources. At Hope we have brilliant professors, great lab environments, a welcoming community, and a body of faith that is open to you if you choose. Without these things, I definitely couldn’t say that every day I have flow.