St. Thomas Newsroom

Minnesota Ranked Happiest State, so What Makes Tommies Happy Here?

St. Thomas students high-five during March Through the Arches, an example of what makes Minnesota the happiest state.

The website WalletHub recently ranked Minnesota as the happiest state in the United States, topping the warmer western climates of Utah, Hawaii and California. The list was based on 28 metrics across the dimensions of emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment.

With so much happiness in Minnesota, we asked some Tommie students what makes them happy be at St. Thomas and in Minnesota.

Feel free to let us know in the comment section what makes you happy to be at St. Thomas and in Minnesota.

Katie Harris: At St. Thomas, the tight-knit community makes me happy. As for Minnesota in general, everyone’s just super nice – Minnesota nice!

Brandon Lively: What makes me happiest at St. Thomas is that the professors here are very welcoming. They enjoy their job, which creates a great learning environment for me. In Minnesota, we’re known to be nice people and I think the way we interact with strangers shows that we can create a community just by being nice to people.

Jack Gibbon: What makes me happiest at St. Thomas is the super friendly environment and how you can walk from class to class and see a smiling face. Probably one of my favorite things about Minnesota is the health and wellness aspect. There are so many great ways to stay active and get out by getting involved with the community – not only in physical ways, but also through volunteer opportunities. There are great places to eat and great places to shop. It’s just such a unique environment.

Amanda Tenhoff: One of the things that makes me happy about Minnesota is definitely all the parks, wildlife, greenery and water. When I go to other states, there’s absolutely no water there. It’s awful! I love the sunshine and how we actually get seasons. We have four distinct seasons, except for road construction, which is an all-year season. What makes me happy about St. Thomas are all the people and the sense of community that I get here. I feel like everybody is very well-cared for by everybody else on campus.

Rachel Oeffling: What makes me happiest about St. Thomas is the location, because you’re so close to the Cities. At the same time, you’re separate from the downtown area so it’s a bit more quiet when you want the small-town feel. The campus itself is just very beautiful. There’s lots of walking trails that you can go to and a lot of restaurants that are close by. I love that there are options for study locations and quiet spaces to do homework. There’s lots of access to food that I think other schools don’t have. For Minnesota, I love having the four seasons. Winter sometimes sucks, but it’s super nice to be able to see all the leaves change and the cool weather coming in. We’ve got the North Shore, which is super gorgeous with Lake Superior for great hiking and camping. There’s a ton to do in the Cities and a ton of culture.

Chase Lau: I would probably say what makes me happiest about St. Thomas and Minnesota are the people. Out of all the states I’ve been to, I’d say that the people in Minnesota are legitimately nicer. People always joke that Minnesota nice is just Minnesota passive-aggressive, but I really notice that people seem to be a lot nicer here. One of the things that drew me to St. Thomas when I toured here was that people would always hold the door for me. It seems like such a stupid little thing, but I was like, “Oh my gosh! People actually care.” I had just come from a tour at the U of M, and they couldn’t give a crap about you. That’s fitting, obviously, because there’s so many people there. But here, it seems like people actually care about you. I think that’s the thing that draws me to Minnesota. Also, I freakin’ love the seasons!