What is Happiness? (IGCSE exam question answered by Charlotte age 14)

This is an essay my daughter wrote during the last 45 minutes of a 2 and 1/4 hour exam.  I just smiled the whole way through.  There is no greater gift a child can give a mother, than pure unadulterated happiness.  I have typed it exactly as it was written so there maybe small errors smattered throughout….

(edited to add that the question asked for an article for submission to a magazine on what happiness meant to them)

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘happiness’?  I think of many things like family, friends and hobbies.  I shall tell you all about them below.

The first thing which makes me happy is my main hobby, writing.  My pen flows on the paper creating worlds of ink people from nothing.  There is such a joy inside me when I write.  It courses through my veins, exploding out of me and onto the page.  If I am down, I write.  If I feel strongly about something, I write.  Writing is my therapy; it is my coping mechanism.  The one thing that stops me from crashing.

Secondly, my happiness comes from reading.  There is something golden about opening a book and entering another world.  A place where your best friends are elves and wizards; where you fight off Roman gods and crazy big spiders.  My dream is to own my own library where everything is in pristine condition and there are comfy chairs everywhere.  I feel such joy at feeling a new book in my hands and knowing that another life is about to begin.

Another thing that makes me happy is music.  It is my drug, the thing that takes me high.  I can’t think of a time I didn’t enjoy singing or jamming to songs in my bedroom.  If I need peace of mind, music is one of the things I turn to.  I love obsessing over boy bands and singers, and learning songs off by heart in an hour.  It makes me smile when I’m singing and my voice goes perfectly with that of the person who originally sang the song.

I volunteer at a club for adults with learning difficulties regularly.  If there is anything that will put a grin not unlike that of a Cheshire cat on my face, it’s the Conqueror’s Club.  Everyone is so lovely and accepting towards me and my endeavors.  I get hugs from them all and spend time making friends and having fun.

Happiness.  When I think of that word many things come to mind, but only a few are prominent.  One of these things is my family.  Not many teens like to admit that they love their family, but I’m not like that.  I love to chat to my mum about anything and everything.  I love to go out and watch my older siblings skate.  I love to read books to my younger sisters and re-enact fairy tales with them.  I adore spending time with my Granny, chatting about my writing and boys and absolutely anything else that crops up.  If I’m discussing cars or music with my Dad, a smile always lights up my face.  My family are who hold me steady and light the path for me as I wander.  They are always constant, never failing and always there for me.

I love to act.  So when asked what it is that makes me happy, acting would be one of those things I would mention.  I love becoming a different person and putting on a strange face.  I love to tell stories through actions, and be dramatic in what I do.  And I adore making people laugh at my antics on stage and it makes me happy to step down and say ‘I did it!’

Ever heard of the term ‘Busy Bumble Bee’?  If you have then you are basically thinking of me.  I love to prank people and can be quite mischievous when bored.  So I keep myself busy with school work and tidying.  Not only does it keep me out of trouble but it also makes me happy.  There is no greater feeling than lying in bed at night with a tidy bedroom and everything done.  It makes my heart glad to come to the end of the day and say, ‘I did it.  I finished everything I wanted to do.’

Finally my friends make me happy.  Spending time with my best friends never fails to make me smile and jump for joy.  We could literally be making daisy chains in the park and laughing our heads off.  There is no one crazier than you, except for your best friends.  This is true.  If they aren’t crazy they won’t make you happy.  Mine are crazy thus making me the happiest girl alive.

In conclusion happiness comes from many different things, but it is also a decision you must make for yourself.  You can’t just rely on hobbies and friends to make you happy.  There is a part of you that must always choose happiness, no matter what.


  1. Wonderful insight into who she is as an individual, and all of you are as a family! Thank you so much for sharing this window into your daily and life <3

    1. Hello Izzy! Thank you for leaving a message on my blog. I’m glad you liked Charlotte’s work on happiness. She will be so happy when I show her your comment 🙂

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