Academics

Over the course of the fall 2016 semester in my Honors Humanities class, we were assigned reflective essays, called Reflective Learning Journals, on the topic of the “Good Life.” You can find all of my RLJs below, as well as a Health Journal that I did for my Honors Psychology class.

RLJ One Santa Fe

I am Diego Manrique and I strive to make an impact. I am 18 years old, born in Venezuela, and raised in South Florida. I’m an active Christian, a musician, and an athlete. I’m a thinker but at the same time I’m a very outgoing person and have a heart for people. Over time, UF has become my dream school and Santa Fe has become the way for me to go out and achieve my dreams. Before deciding to attend Santa Fe I considered multiple schools. Early on in High School I thought I wanted to play Soccer in college so I began the recruiting process to see what opportunities could be out there. I began to talk to coaches at different division 2 and 3 schools all over the US. I fell in love with a small school called Covenant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The school has a beautiful campus as well as a fantastic soccer program, and the coach had expressed his interest in me and that I would be a good fit for his team. With all that in play I was pretty set on going there until I began to come to the realization that I actually didn’t want to play college soccer at all. By that point I was in my junior year and getting closer to beginning to apply to colleges, and in that process I began to become infatuated with the idea of attending the University of Florida. Fast forward a few months and applications decisions are about to be posted. I had already been accepted to UCF and UNF but as I read the email I was informed I had been denied by UF. It was a strange moment for me because I happened to be on a road trip from Florida to North Carolina with a few of my best friends and we had stopped in Gainesville to eat on the way up, and it was here in Gainesville where I found out I wasn’t going to be a Gator. Being rejected meant I wasn’t quite good enough to be one. My initial response however wasn’t one of disappointment but rather asking myself how can I show the University of Florida that I am in fact good enough. It was at that very moment that I knew that starting august I would be attending Santa Fe and that I was going to use it as my opportunity to excel and prove that I have what it takes to attend a top tier university.

The way I have always looked at my life is that if I can look back at it when I am on my deathbed and can see that I have used it to make at least one persons life better, that for me would be a successful life. My parents and the community I grew up in have engrained in me the desire to help others. The world is full of pain and brokenness for many and my desire for my career is to use it to help mend some of that pain and brokenness. Two years ago I traveled to Haiti for the first time with an organization named Mission of Hope. This year I had the chance to go back again and go to the same villages and see so many of the same people. I have traveled to every continent of the world and have seen so many amazing places, but for me, there is no place more beautiful then Haiti. Haiti is a country that longs to realize its full potential as well as longs for its people to succeed and prosper. One of my dreams is to be able to be a part of the process of realizing those things. One of my strengths is teaching, due to my ability to communicate ideas and my passion to seek out and spread the truth, and one day I hope that I could use my abilities to teach psychology and economics at the American universities being built in Haiti. To get to that point I want to transfer to UF after obtaining my AA from Santa Fe, and then move on to grad school. My dream, as far as school goes, is to one day get my Ph.D. My biggest fear in life is mediocrity. I despise the idea of being average, of not making a difference, of being passive. Santa Fe is opening up avenues for my dreams to be accomplished and is turning my fear of mediocrity into nothing to fear about at all.

RLJ Do the Right Thing

The influx of immigrants in America has led to increases in racial tensions throughout the country. There is a particular concern aimed towards Mexican and Syrian immigrants, as they are often depicted as threats to American society. And although racial tensions seem to be reaching a boiling point, and though race is seemingly becoming a more prevalent issue in society, I know that there are diverse communities throughout the United States the continue to live in peace despite any racial inequalities and injustices that may exist. In Weston, the city I grew up in, the population consist largely of Latino immigrants as well as a large Caucasian American population. Despite the differences within the community, I never witnesses or experienced any issues regarding cultural clashes.

Although I may have lived in a community in which two distinguishable groups lived together peacefully and equally, I am aware that this is not the reality for everyone in America. Systematic racism is a very real and ugly reality. We may live in a time different than that of Spike Lee’s movie, but the fact is the issue the film addresses is still an issue today. Buggin Out’s actions in the film are a difficult topic for me to assess. Although I disagree with the manor and the extent of his retaliation against Sal, I cant help but to feel that his actions of revolting against a society and a system that oppresses people based on the tone of their skin is justified. His outrage at the lack of “brothers on the wall” goes deeper than Sal and his Pizzeria. It is a reflection of the world he lived in. I believe that violence and chaos is no way to go about fighting for your beliefs, but when I put myself in his shoes I sometimes think actions of violence and chaos were the only things he could do.

One of the focal points of the film was Radio Raheem’s favorite song, “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy. In the third verse the song says “Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps, sample a look back you look and find nothing rednecks for 400 years if you check.” I think this line sums up the issue that ignites the conflict in the movie. Black people aren’t valued in American society. Their culture, history, and heroes are segregated into their own categories. The reason Radio Raheem’s death is predictable is because he is outspoken and proud of his race. He carries who he is on his shoulder in the form of the stereo playing “Fight the Power.” The one thing that could have prevented his death is silence. If he would’ve let Sal walk over him and

After Radio Raheem’s death at the hand of the police, Mookie throws a trashcan through the window of Sal’s Pizzeria. Although I’m not entirely sure if I would take the same course of action in the given situation, I think Mookie did the right thing as his motives seemed pure. Mookie’s perspective on Sal’s Pizzeria was much different than the rest of the rioters because Mookie worked there. Mookie didn’t throw the trashcan because he hated Sal’s Pizzeria, he did it because it was the right thing, he did it as a way of appeasing the injustice that had just occurred in the community.

When it comes to the issue of Violence, I stand with Martin Luther King Jr. and his focus on peaceful means of achieving equality`. However although it is rare, I do believe there comes a point where violence is justified. Determining what the right thing is, is a very difficult task at times and I don’t think that a single approach will always result in the correct action. However, right now in 2016, I do believe there is a right thing to do. That thing is to not be silent about the injustices that occur in this country. It is to speak up against systematic racism and injustice.

To end the cycle of violence that occurs as a result of racial inequality in the United States, Racial inequality must be eliminated from American Society. Until the day that a black women can say she is no more advantaged or disadvantaged than a white men simply based on the color of her skin, there will always be a portion of the populations seeking justice for the offenses of a system that hinders their potential.

I think the point Spike Lee is trying to make with the appearance of Mookie in Red Hook Summer, is that not much has changed. The inequality that was addressed in the movie nearly 30 years ago still persists today. The appearance of Mookie in the 2012 film isn’t the celebration of a classic movie character, it is the lament that the character still exist as it would have in 1989.

RLJ Between the World and Me

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”  Decades after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil right movement, Ta-Nehisi published his message to his son in his book “Between the World and Me”. This book has become one of the most critically acclaimed and talked about books of recent times. Toni Morrison, the novelist and Princeton professor said “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates’s journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory,” about Coates. She is not the only one to have drawn the comparison between Coates and Baldwin. It is not simply an intellectual similarity, but a literary one. Before Coates wrote his famous book, he wrote the letter, published in The Atlantic that inspired it, “Letter to My Son.” His letter, however, was inspired by a letter Baldwin wrote in 1963 the was published in The Progressive titled “A Letter to My Nephew.” Although 62 years separate these letters, neither the issue nor the audience has changed.

The letters in both cases are addressed to 15 year old younger relatives; Baldwin’ nephew and Coates’ son. But the recipients include much more than these family members, claims have been made to say it includes the entire African American community and even the entire nation, but more specifically, these are works addressed to the next generation of African Americans. However I think there is a deep meaning behind the fact that Coates’ essay is addressed to his son. While James Baldwin writes to his nephew, someone he certainly loves and cares about, Ta-Nehisi is writing to his own son, someone he not only loves, but someone he is responsible for, someone that it is his duty to raise. The titles of Coates’ works are even more meaningful when you consider “Between the World and Me.” The books title, derived from Richard Wright’s poem, signifies the alienation of blacks from the rest of society. It is also the story of a lynching, an atrocious racial injustice. With this title, Coates is delivering a message of separation and suffering to his own child.

“Between the World and Me” was a book that started a nation wide conversation, a conversation that led to David French’s response in the National Review, “A Letter to My African American Daughter…” French’s response is a much-needed one, especially at a time of so much social unrest because of the matter of race. French takes on the responsibility of addressing the young black women of our country, something Coates and Baldwin didn’t. But I find the biggest difference in these essay’s to be the optimism and hopefulness they show. Baldwin, although more somber, reflects some of the hope that Martin Luther King Jr. believed. French’s work also powerfully resonates this theme, but at the same time, over a half a century after Baldwin and King Jr., Coates seems like he is losing that sense of hope. Coates doesn’t admonish his son to dream, he admonishes him to be conscious.

RLJ What’s Your Immigrant Story?

I was born in Venezuela to a Spanish mother and a Venezuelan father whose heritage has both Italian and Spanish roots. My family name, the name Manrique, is a Spanish surname that originates from Germanic elements and is thought to mean “men of power.” Palacios, my mother’s maiden name, also trace back to Spain, specifically the Basque country. My father’s ancestors went from Europe to South America multiple generations ago and settled in Barinas, a rural agricultural state in Venezuela. They were a family of farmers until my grandfather became a lawyer and moved from the countryside to Caracas, the capitol of Venezuela. Whenever I’ve asked my dad about his ancestors he’s told me that he knows that some came from Italy and some came from Spain, but other than that, he knows nothing about his European heritage.

My mothers side of the family is a much more familiar story, my mom would always tell me about her mother and grandmother when I was a kid. My mom’s side of the family emigrated from Spain to Venezuela when my great grandmother and my grandmother, who was a child at the time, fled the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s. My grandmother would later return to Spain for theater school where she met my grandfather, also an actor and the son of a Spanish Army general. They had my mother in Spain and moved back to Venezuela when my mother was 2 years old and they both enjoyed successful acting careers on Venezuelan television. My Mother and Father met when she was 17 and he was 23. My mother was studying marketing in college and my father was in law school. They married and had my older brother Victor in 1993 and later on had me.

In 1998, the year I was born, Hugo Chavez took office as president of Venezuela and ushered in a new socialist regime. The country began to deteriorate on multiple facets and my parents, fearing for the futures of my brother and I, left Venezuela, leaving behind a life of high status and wealth. My parents moved the family to south Florida and endured the process of starting over in a new country. We lived in Weston, Florida, a suburban middle class city 50 minutes from Miami, up until I was 14. It was in Weston where my parents opened up a jewelry store. A few years after opening up their first store they expanded to another store. Soon they had multiple stores in Florida as well as a few in other countries. Unfortunately when the housing market crashed in 2008, the retail jewelry industry was decimated and my parents were forced to sell their business losing most of their investment.

By this point my brother was in his senior year of high school at a school in Fort Lauderdale, and I would begin attending that same school the following year, so my parents decided to move 30 minutes east to Fort Lauderdale. My parents were in the process of starting over again and began a cosmetics company. Although there were a few years where my parents had to scrape by, they soon began to experience success in their professional lives through their new company. However, this very year, a lawsuit between two majority share holders of their company made my parents decide that they no longer wanted to be a part of the company they had started as it had lost sight of the reason it was created. They resigned and made the decision to move to Atlanta, where I am currently writing this from as I help them move in to our families new home.

My family’s immigrant story has been a story of valleys and mountain peeks. My parents have had to start from relatively nothing and work incredibly hard to allow our family to have a good quality of life, and then repeating the process over again multiple times. I think that having this experience has allowed me to appreciate how resilient my parents are and how much they care about their family, and those are qualities that I yearn to carry with me throughout my life. Although I am a proud American, I am also a proud immigrant.

RLJ Governing the Good Life

The Declaration of Independence asserts that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and holds these principals to be “self-evident”. The reasons they are self-evident are because they are true to every human to have ever lived. No one has walked the earth without the desire of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To infringe these aspects of a person’s life is an infringement on humanity itself. The significance of the this being in the Declaration of Independence is that it is not the will of man or religion, but the will of a nation to seek and defend these principals.

The purpose of government according to the Declaration of Independence is too effect the safety and happiness of its people while deriving its power from the people. Government is bound by these self-evident truth, as it is its role to preserve and protect them.

The idea of all men being created equal and the pursuit of happiness have been no more than conceptual ideals throughout American history. Despite the fact that these ideals are held as central to American culture and politics, racial inequality has persisted since the conception of this country. Individualism creates conflicts in the pursuit of happiness of individuals and the role of government in these cases is to prevent any individual from violating the rights of another to freely pursue happiness

The Bill of Rights is amendments to the constitution that largely protect the people from the government. It asserts individual liberties and prohibits certain government power.

Bhutan primary goal isn’t to grow the economy; it’s to grow happiness. Although growing happiness does involve economic growth, that’s not to say it is necessarily how you achieve a prospering Gross Domestic Happiness. Bhutan essentially takes a holistic approach to happiness and measures non-economic factors as well. Its basis comes in the shape of the four pillars: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation.

In my personal experience with the monotheistic religions, I have seen more then enough evidence to conclude that compassion is in fact central to these faiths. Not have I seen it written and expressed in sacred texts and doctrines but as well in the actions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. This isn’t to say that compassion is a fundamentally religious attribute. Compassion is seen in secular culture through charities, movements, organizations, philanthropy, etc. Compassion isn’t just central to religion, its central to humanity.

I consider myself a relatively conscious and self-aware person, however, I definitely could do a much better job of being aware of the Golden Rule. Incorporating the Golden Rule more consciously in to my life involves reflection on how I could’ve handled situation better in light of the rule and having the mindset to go out and do at least one thing everyday to live by the rule better.

RLJ Civic Engagement

My junior and senior year of high school I participated in putting on a thanksgiving meal for the homeless community in Fort Lauderdale. Hope South Florida as well as various local churches in Fort Lauderdale organized the meal. I had the opportunity to get to meet and serve so many individuals who I wouldn’t have had the chance to do so otherwise. This project gave members of a marginalized sect of society a chance to celebrate an American holiday with others in a safe and positive environment. The project also provided me with an eye opening experience that allowed me to have a greater appreciation of the loving family and community I have around me.

Webster’s Dictionary defines individualism as “the belief that the needs of each person are more important than the needs of the whole society or group”. Individualism makes democracy and equality difficult to accomplish as both concepts involve a prioritization of the group instead of the individual. Individualism is conducive to despotism because it makes man stand alone, not carrying for those around him, disconnected from the rest of society. In such an environment, who is left to stand together to fight against tyranny? The answer is tragically no one. Americans combat the effects of individualism by free institutions because free institutions because it provides a cross road of private and public issues.

Americans in today’s society make little us of available public associations and civil life. However, when Americans are motivated to make use of these opportunities it is driven out of self-interest. When no other pressures are present, it is very rare to see someone go and get involved with something they feel no connection with. However I truly believe that this is a very healthy form of self-interest because it is a self-interest that results in positive actions that often benefit a community.

The idea of social capital is essentially that social networks have value. This social capital is earned in various ways from inheritance too civic engagement. Social and Physical capital are different because social capital empowers civic virtue while physical capital doesn’t necessarily have the same effect. They are similar however as they both affect productivity of individuals and groups.

Often times in high school, the reason students engage in so many clubs, associations, and volunteer opportunities is primarily motivated by meeting service hour requirements and building resumes that will help earn them admission in to prestigious universities. Once those pressure are removed, so is the pressure to participate in so many forms of civic engagement.

RLJ Thinking About a Good Life

The myth of Sisyphus tells of a man condemned by the gods to roll a stone to the top of a mountain, only to have it to roll back down. Every time the stone rolls down the mountain Sisyphus must roll it back up in a never-ending cycle. Sisyphus was receiving this punishment for undermining the gods; he had stolen their secrets and put death in chains. I don’t believe this punishment is fair. Sisyphus hadn’t done these acts out of evil intentions; he acted out of a hatred of death and his own passion, things that are innately human.

Camus is interested in Sisyphus’ consciousness because that is his true punishment. After rolling the stone all the way to the top of the mountain, Sisyphus must watch the stone roll all the way back down so the he can push it back up in an endless and cruel cycle. This is the moment in which Sisyphus is most aware of his condition, the moments in which Sisyphus’ punishment is most severe.

Sisyphus is happy because he is the master of his fate when he is behind his stone. He isn’t subject to god or universe. The rock and the mountain are his world and his domain. As Camus says “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.”

Often times in school I have felt as if I have been taking a class or multiple classes in which I was receiving no real benefit. Sometimes I felt as if the class had no real application to my professional and academic dreams while other times I felt as if the teacher teaching the course was unfit to teach the class and was hindering my ability to learn the material. I tended to handle these situation poorly; I felt little motivation to do well in these classes and that would reflect in my grades. However, there were times when I was able to see things from a different perspective, focusing on how a course might be beneficial when applying to colleges or equip me with skills to succeed in another course. This mentality is what lead me to find meaning and be able to succeed in courses in which I had originally had no motivation to do well in.

RLJ Happiness

In July of 2015 I went to Haiti for the first time. It was 11 days that were both emotionally and mentally draining. Seeing orphans and terminally ill people living in impoverished villages is heartbreaking. But when I think back on that trip I don’t associate it with a sad time in my life. In fact, going to Haiti for the first time is one of my fondest memories, one of my happiest memories. Seeing change, improvement, and above all hope in a place that truly needs it, and being able to be a part of that is the epitome of happiness for me. I have always thought of happiness as something more than a fleeting emotion but rather a constant state of feeling at peace, joyful, and free. Its something you feel and it’s impossible to miss when you do feel it. In my life I am happiest when I am loving other, loving my God, and putting my needs and dreams aside to put others first. Defining happiness is an issue that has been undertaken by so many since the begging of time. Philosophers, religious leaders, biologist, psychologist, ethicist, etc. have all approached the issue from different angles and have come out with a wide range of answers. The current Dalai Lama believes that Happiness is the desire at the very core of our being and that it is achieved through compassion and love. Aside from differences in spiritual beliefs, I agree with the Dalai Lama when he says that “the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well being becomes.”

As I said before, there is a wide range of answers in response to the question of what is happiness, and I cant say I agree with all of them. Polish Philosopher, Leszek Kolakowski wrote an essay titled Is God Happy? In which he questions if God himself can be happy. His conclusion is yes, but in a world that isn’t the one we live in. He says happiness can be imagined but not experienced. For God to be happy and for us as humans to be happy there would have to be no hell, pain, death, sorrow, suffering, etc. I understand Kolakowski’s thoughts on God, but when I examine the same things I draw a different conclusion. It is because of the pain and suffering in this world that we have even more reason to be happy because there is a God who can save those who believe in him from hell. Although death wasn’t necessary if it weren’t for sin, we can still be happy in him and he is still happy with those who he calls his. But my main point here is that a big factor in how one views happiness is determined by how one views God, purpose, and other deep philosophical and religious matters. And although there is a lot about the question of happiness that is based off opinions and beliefs, there are things that we know about it that are facts.

Emily Esfahani Smith wrote an article in The Atlantic in which she tells the story of Austrian-Jewish Psychiatrist and Neurologist Viktor Frankl. Frankl chose to be imprisoned in a concentration camp instead of fleeing to the United States so that he could watch over his parents. It was in the camps, where he served as a therapist for the other Jewish prisoners, that he came to the conclusion that “it is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.” In her article, Smith goes on to analyze the state of happiness in the United States, as well as bring up some research that confirms Frankl’s notion of the pursuit of happiness. She writes about studies that bring to light the conflict that exist between happiness and meaningfulness. That the more meaningful a person considers their life the less likely they are to consider themselves happy, an idea reminiscent to the notion of people being either givers or takers. She also distinguishes humans as being the only living things that have a desire to live a meaningful life, not just to be happy. Smith brings together science and anecdotal stories in a very compelling article. I agree with what she has to say, but with one reservation. Although it is a difficult balance, a meaningful and happy life is still achievable. Many factors may complicate your ability to achieve such a life, factors like your ethnicity, wealth, age, status, and all other characteristics in which people often discriminate against. But even then, I don’t think the cards you are dealt determine the outcome of your happiness. As the Dalai Lama implied to the waitress at the Santa Fe ski resort, maybe true happiness is simply “compassion and good heart.” No paycheck, lavish home, or title can get you that.

RLJ Dance of My Heart

Fredrich Nietzsche once said, “we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” There is something innately human about expressing ourselves through dance. A study from the University of York found that infants respond to the rhythm and tempo of music and find it more engaging than speech, and also that babies may be born with a predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music. Dance may very well be an integral part to humanity, even if we don’t realize it. It doesn’t take much more then a pair of functioning eyes to appreciate the beauty and elegance of the art of dancing, and particularly the art of ballet. As someone who has never danced in a classroom, on stage, or in any sort of performance setting, I still feel a connection with the art of Ballet, especially after seeing Alberto Alonso’s love for it. And after learning about Alberto Alonso’s story, I have come to see that dance isn’t the only aspect of life in which I can relate to Alberto. As an immigrant who left their home country because of an oppressive political regime myself, I understand what it must’ve been like for Alberto and his family to defect from Cuba. As a musician and a person who spends hours every day practicing, performing, writing, and even writing about music, I also understand what it is like to have a passion like his. Alberto Alonso passed away at the age of 90 in 2007, but if I could manage to live even just 9 years the way he did, I would have lived a good life.

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1917, Alberto Julio Rayneri Alonso began traveling the world with the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo at the age of 17. At the time, all those around him laughed and mocked him for his passion and talent for ballet, all except his mother. By the time he was forced to return to Cuba in 1940 as result of the war in Europe, all those who had laughed and mocked him were now dancers themselves. Alonso worked as a choreographer and ballet master for many years, as well as founding the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. In 1993, Alberto’s son, no longer willing to put up with the oppressive Cuban regime, sailed on a raft to Florida. Alberto and his third wife Sonia decided to reunite with their Son and defected from Cuba and settled in Gainesville, Florida. In Gainesville he became a master artist in residence at Santa Fe College up until he died in 2007.

Alberto was a trailblazer of sorts. He was the first Cuban ballet dancer to reach the levels of respect he did, and this accomplishment is only magnified when you consider the social pressures that surrounded him to not be a dancer simply because he was a male. His accomplishments opened up the doors for contemporary ballet dancers like Carlos Acosta who danced in the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, another way in which Alberto opened up doors that had never been open before. And beyond these achievements and attributes seen throughout his life, the thing I find most impressive about Alberto Alonso’s life is his humility. For a man who had danced in the Ballet Russes, who had choreographed Carmen as well as Romeo and Juliet, who had opened up the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, to take a job at a community college speaks volumes about his character, and also about his passion to share his art, wisdom, and talents with the next generation. If more and more people had the same passion for both what they do and for others, more and more people would know what it is to live a good life.

Honors Psychology Health Journal and Practical Applications

Part 1

Through keeping track of my daily schedule, I was surprise to learn how inconsistent my sleep pattern was, how late I was going to bed, and how much time I spent sleeping while the sun was out in the morning. My choices in regards to sleep caused me to be stressed and irritable in the mornings as well as causing me to experience sporadic hunger even after I had eaten good meals at regular time. Another problem caused by my sleep schedule, or lack of, was waking up late took away valuable time in the morning to be productive. Being able to monitor my health through the journal allowed me to identify sleep as something I want to do differently. The reason that I want to change this habit is because it disrupts my circadian rhythm and subsequently affects my sleep-wake cycle. Although I might sleep the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep, the quality of my sleep and my mood the next day suffer from the lack of consistency in my sleep schedule. In class I learned that establishing a consistent habit in regards to the time I go to sleep and the time I wake up will allow hormones within my body such as melatonin and ghrelin to operate at appropriate times every day and that is something that I want to benefit from.

Part 2

As part of my Practical Applications assignment, I decided to change my sleep habits, more specifically establishing a habit of going to sleep by 12 and waking up by 8. Based on what I have learned so far in my General Psychology class, I expected this change to improve my mood, decrease my stress, and control the release of hormones such as Melatonin and Ghrelin throughout the day. Making this change was much more difficult than I expected. On the first night I was able to implement the changes I desired but by night two I was helping my parents move from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia and due to many complication I was unable to continue with implementing the changes to my sleeping habits. The sleep I experienced on night 1 when I was able to sleep by 12 and wake up by 8 left me feeling very good for day 2. I experienced all the benefits I had expected to at least some extent. However on night 2 and night 3 I went to sleep much later and I felt the impacts of poor sleep throughout the following days. My experience supported what I had learn in class and from the textbook, however, my experience also allowed me to realize that the extent of which I get to apply what I have learned isn’t always under my full control.