Faculty, academic advisors, and student affairs counselors impact student wellbeing to the degree they transform each student’s mindset by empowering the self of the student.

Student wellbeing is more than simple observable changes in behavior or short-term boosts to motivation. Student wellbeing is the process of deep change—changing beliefs, assumptions, and paradigms of reality—for example, going from no hope to hope, from resignation to having dreams and a passion to pursue new possibilities, from anxiety and depression to inner peace and happiness.

How to encourage results in wellbeing

Best practices and methods are available for educators that focus on student self-understanding and awareness to produce transformational results in college-age adolescents and young adults. Whether leading the classroom, advising, or overseeing an internship, educators that apply wellbeing best practices effectively can impact their students in transformative ways.

Students with transformed wellbeing:

  • Experience a shift in their way of being in the world, more at ease and less anxious.
  • Learn to create the life that they really want, not merely because something is a good idea or influenced by others.
  • Take full responsibility for the quality of their life and stop blaming others for their circumstances.
  • Experience a new level of authentic self-expression.
  • Strengthen their sense of self agency and locus of control.
  • Learn to produce results that are aligned with their own sense of purpose and vision.
  • Learn to take responsibility for their own emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing.
  • Learn how to enjoy the challenges inherent in taking initiative.
  • Are happy, fully alive, and turned on to life!
  • Learn that they are powerful and make a positive difference in the world.

How to hear what your students are saying

Educators can learn if their students and advisees are experiencing wellbeing as a transformative experience by hearing directly from their students.

Student wellbeing is transformative

For example, one of our interns at a public university wrote, “You took the time to meet with me … to critically look at the work I did, give me feedback, provide career advice, and help me realize my potential. Each day I came to intern I left motivated, inspired, and optimistic. Every day was a new learning opportunity. Receiving genuine, helpful, personal advice is something that most students cannot get on a regular basis. I am so thankful that I had such a great mentor during this transitional period in my life.… I am very lucky I found such a motivating, positive experience. Through this internship I learned so much about my personal motivations and myself.”

Notice the critical words at the end of the quote. The student learned more about “personal motivations and myself”—a transformation in wellbeing through the self. Further, she examined her core beliefs about who she “should” be and what she “should” do—learned in her family culture—to arrive at her own set of beliefs and her own vision for her future.

Faculty teach, and academic advisors and student affairs counselors intervene so as to impact the lives of the young adults in their care. Focusing upon the inner life and wellbeing transforms lives—fundamentally and for the long term. Congratulations if you have received communications that reflect transformative learning, and thank you for your dedication, focus, and skill.

About the Author:

Dr. Henry G. Brzycki and Elaine J. Brzycki are authors of three best-selling books: Mental Health for All Toolkit, Student Success in Higher Education: Developing the Whole Person through High-Impact Practices, and The Self in Schooling: How to Create Happy, Healthy, Flourishing Children in the 21st Century. They are founders of an innovative think tank providing thought leadership on emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing through education. For over 20 years they have pioneered the field of mental health and wellbeing prevention in K-16 schooling. They can be contacted at Henry@Brzyckigroup.com.

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