College is as much an experience as it is an education, lived differently by every student. While some schools offer a simple, mostly academic experience, others offer an array of on and off campus engagement and extra curricular activities. Read more to find out which schools have the happiest college students!
The Princeton Review conducts yearly surveys of the happiest college students across the country, based entirely on student surveys. Students are asked about their school’s academics, life at their college, their fellow students, classroom experience, campus food, and, of course, themselves.
Even if you are studying outside the US, don’t forget that your happiness throughout college should not be overlooked or overshadowed. Other than student services offered by your university, there are things you can do on your own to maintain your happiness during college, like learning to cope with failure and fear, join greek life, clubs, and campus associations.
Throughout the hectic years of college, it is always important to find time for yourself and for the things that make you happy. Although the semesters can be hectic and workload can be intimidating, your friends, your sleep habits, your hobbies, and your favorite spots to eat or drink all contribute to your happiness as a college student.
Let’s take a look at the highest ranking universities with the happiest college students around the world.
Happiest College Students in the United States
1. College of William and Mary – Williamsburg, Virginia
Campus life at the College of William and Mary can be described as engaging and diversified. The student body is comprised of athletes, artists, activists, hikers, singers, researchers, and explorers. For those just starting their degrees, the university provides undergraduate academic advising and resources, connecting students with faculty advisors who help identify academic and career opportunities throughout your time as a student.
2. Vanderbilt University – Nashville, Tennessee
Vanderbilt allows its students to pursue a wide range of academic and curricular interests outside their main area of study while maintaining high standards of scholarship and character. The university’s financial aid program ensures that the most intelligent and talented students are enrolled and have access to an inclusive environment based on respect and open inquiry.
3. Rice University – Houston, Texas
At Rice University, students can rest assured that their career planning will be under the guidance of the Center for Career Development (CCD), located in the Huff House. The center connects students to the university’s global professional network, educates them on the knowledge of self and on utilizing available career resources, and helps students with the skills and confidence required for a prosperous career post-college.
4. University of Oklahoma – Norman, Oklahoma
Known for its competitive athletic atmosphere, the University of Oklahoma provides excellent services to student athletes so that they can reach their highest academic, athletic, and personal aspirations.
5. Tulane University – New Orleans, Louisiana
Tulane University is respected for its research opportunities for students, as well as opportunities for social impact through community engagement. It is one of 62 members of the Association of American Universities, an elite group of top-ranked research institutions. Just last year, Tulane’s students logged more than 780,000 hours of civic service in the city of New Orleans.
Countries with the Happiest College Students
Outside the US, the following countries have shown that the factors contributing to happiness among college students has little to do with the wealth of the university or country, and more on access to education and the quality of relationships students build with peers and professors.
The countries below are known to be home to some of the happiest college students around the world:
Many students in Iceland complete upper secondary schools late in their 20s because they have the option to drop out and re-enter later in life. Iceland has actually been named the world’s most peaceful place by the Economist Intelligence Unit, based on an index of 24 indicators, including lack of military and a low ratio of imprisoned citizens.
Many Scandinavian countries are reportedly some of the happiest countries in the world, largely due to their high quality education offered at affordable tuition costs. The University of Copenhagen landed in the top 100 universities on the list, ranked at number 68 in the world. Recognized as one of the happiest capital cities in the world, students in Copenhagen enjoy great weather, entertainment and dining, while earning an excellent education.
The fourth-happiest country in the world, Switzerland might just be the destination for your next academic venture! Though living costs are not always the cheapest, you can count on low tuition costs as a student. Not only is the cost of a Swiss education significantly lower than many other European countries, you can also find many scholarship opportunities for international students, both government and university sponsored.
With FOUR native languages — French, Italian, German, and Romansh — Switzerland gives you amazing opportunities to learn new cultures and languages. When you’re not studying, you can find relaxation in activities like skiing and snowboarding in the iconic Swiss Alps. Although English is not one of Switzerland’s native languages, most locals speak great English and universities offer an array of complete courses in English.
One of the top five happiest countries in the world, students in Finland will mostly find courses taught in Finnish or Swedish, but English courses can be found as well. The University of Helsinki, the top ranked university in the country, offers top-quality research programs aimed at building a better, more sustainable world, and graduating students with a passion to change attitudes, people, and society.
With one of the best education systems in the world, students who graduate from universities in Singapore are primed for its evolving economy, supported by a combination of government initiatives, top-ranked universities, and high quality of life. Strict laws and low crime rates make public transportation extremely safe for students in Singapore. If you are worried about the opportunity to study in English, rest assured. English is actually Singapore’s official education language, spoken by nearly 75% of the population.
Where Happiness and Education Meet
A leader in the education revolution, University of the People is reshaping how people learn by providing fully accredited, online degrees tuition-free! With basic access to a computer and the internet, more than 18,500 happy students from over 200 countries around the world have chosen to earn their degrees online. In fact, an astounding 95% of UoPeople’s students have reported they are satisfied with their university experience.
It is never too early to start prioritizing your own happiness, and your college years are a perfect time to learn what makes you happy.
Employers are eagerly searching for well-rounded college students to enter their organizations. Utilize your college years to develop healthy habits that you can take with you throughout your life. Reasonable sleep patterns, diet control, meaningful relationships, regular physical activity, and actions that benefit the happiness of others will enhance your performance while in school and are sure to raise your chances for success after graduation.
So, what can you do to stay happy as a student?
Set aside time first thing in the morning to work on your assignments to avoid the stress building up throughout the day. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you can finish an assignment after a great night of sleep or a quick run outside!
Whether you are living on campus or earning a degree online, it is important to establish meaningful relationships with your colleagues and professors, remembering that they are your emotional support during your academic journey!
2. Make time for yourself
When you need to get away and make some time for yourself, try to think about hobbies you find interesting. It can be easy to forget when feeling overwhelmed by coursework, but don’t lose sight of the things that make you you! Listen to music or try a new recipe if you need to de-stress and relax after a full day of classes.
3. Writing letters of gratitude
This has been shown to increase happiness and life satisfaction among both men and women, according to the Journal of Happiness. At the end of each day, think about 3 to 5 things that made you feel grateful. Start with something small like a random act of kindness you witnessed that morning. You may also want to try setting personal goals like not checking facebook for an entire class.
4. Combat Financial Stress
If financial stress is contributing to your overall well-being, ask your university about financial aid and scholarships! Often, earning your degree online will save you thousands compared to traditional 4-year university degrees. Whether you are beginning your first degree or enhancing a specialty through higher education, the right program is out there for you. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the future — remember that you are always in control of your decisions!