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The Counseling Center launched the 8-week Happiness Challenge on Monday, March 2 with the goal of a healthier—physical and emotional—UW Oshkosh campus community.

“The Happiness Challenge is an 8-week long social media campaign,” Leah Folks, staff counselor and outreach coordinator at the UW Oshkosh Counseling Center, said. “Each week we will focus on a different aspect —from sleeping habits to exercise—that we know from research will lead to a happier life.”

Folks is working closely with the Counseling Center’s first undergraduate intern, Ashley Neuhaus, a senior majoring in psychology.

Ashley NeuhausNeuhaus began her case management and outreach internship with the Counseling Center in February, and said it has given her the opportunity to work in a variety of roles, which she said is preparing her for her future career as a counselor.

“After I graduate in May, I will be pursuing a master’s degree in social work, and this internship gives me a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be a counselor,” Neuhaus said. “For the Happiness Challenge, I am managing the Facebook page and Twitter account to raise awareness.”

According to Folks, the Happiness Challenge is something everyone can benefit from.

“Personal wellness is something we value for our staff at the Counseling Center,” Folks said. “When we take care of our selves, we can take better care of others, and that’s what we want to spread throughout the UW Oshkosh community.”

The first seven weeks of the challenge will focus on different aspects that impact happiness, with the last week asking the community a culminating question—what makes you happy?

“I hope that people will see the areas of our lives that impact happiness, that it will resonate with them and they will incorporate it into their lives,” Neuhaus said.

Neuhaus said her internship on campus provided her with networking opportunities and is a resource with being able to talk to the counselors on a daily basis and learning about what degrees are needed for her career aspirations.

“I’ve learned a lot about what it’s like to work in a community where everyone just loves their job,” Neuhaus said. “My boss is an awesome role model because of her attitude on life. Her positivity makes me want to be kind and happy in everything I do.”

“By having and internship, you learn whether or not this is a field you would enjoy,” Neuhaus said. “You learn a lot about yourself and I’ve made a lot of great friends because of my internship at UW Oshkosh.”

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