Student Perspectives

Student walk along Northrop Mall in the winter

BeWELL understands that wellbeing is multifaceted, and can look different for everyone. As health interprofessional students, your relationship with wellbeing is a unique experience.

We'd like you to ask the question to yourself, "What does wellbeing mean to me?".  We would like to hear from you about how answered that question. We've created this form to collect your responses.

We hope that by sharing some of the responses from fellow students, you can learn about how wellbeing impacts others and you may take away some ideas for your own wellbeing experience.

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Hannah Garrett, Division of Physical Therapy

Hannah Garrett

What does wellbeing mean to you?

Wellbeing means taking care of the most important person in your life -- YOU. It is so easy for us to get so caught up in taking care of others and meeting their needs, but wellbeing means taking time out of your day to reconnect with yourself and what you need. Many people may feel like wellbeing is just physical (exercising, staying fit, eating right), but that is just one of the many facets of its all-encompassing definition. Wellbeing is also mental, spiritual, emotional, social and societal. Individualizing these facets to fit my own life is incredibly important to me as it has lead me down a path of healing from major depression, anxiety and past trauma. The sooner you realize how multidimensional wellbeing is, the sooner you can learn how remarkable it is.

What are some of the times when you find yourself experiencing wellbeing? What is your favorite activity to participate in for your own wellbeing?

Saying "no" to things is one of my favorite wellbeing behavior. I have always been a people-pleaser and would say "yes" to being on every committee, would go to every social event and would spend hours helping everyone else in my life. This left me feeling like I was burning both ends of the candles at all times - utterly exhausted. I never had time to myself to just "be"; whether that meant having solo downtime to read or catching up on chores and studying at home. I needed to learn how to say no not only to others in a literal sense, but to my own internal drive of putting everyone else first except myself. Learning to be selfish is one of the best things I have ever done for my own wellbeing.

Some of my favorite activities to do for my personal wellbeing include things that allow myself to reconnect with my mind, my body and my emotions, as well as provide a mental escape from the "to-dos" of our day-to-day lives as full-time students. Some of my favorites are devouring a good book, moving through a dynamic meditation, creating a new Spotify playlist for whatever mood I'm feeling,  and forming a wind-down routine to get better sleep.

What professional program are you in, and why did you choose your professional program? What are the connections between what you are studying/your future profession and wellbeing?

I am currently in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program and chose this path because it supports the lifestyle of wellbeing, meaning it is a multifaceted discipline that involves healing the body through both physical and mental means. As a physical therapist, I hope to be able to incorporate many of the things I have learned about wellbeing throughout my life in order to maximize my patients treatment, for example, recommending ways to decrease stress in order to reduce post-op inflammation. Many people may not see the connection between body and mind, however, as a future PT I am so excited to educate patients on this critical aspect of their health.

Consider the Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing model of wellbeing. Are any of the dimensions particularly important or resonant to you right now? How so?

I think my sense of purpose is what is really driving me in this time of intense global stress. Having a sense of "what am I doing here? what is my mission? who can I aspire to be?" helps me take a step back and look at the entirety of my life and the world around me. It helps me to fit my puzzle piece into the bigger picture and understand my "why" for what I am doing. Although life has been incredibly stressful with grad school, social injustices and a global pandemic, my purpose helps me propel forward.

Claire Sherman, School of Nursing

What does wellbeing mean to you?

Claire Sherman

For me, wellbeing is optimizing my health spiritually, mentally, physically, academically, financially and emotionally. These six categories all play a major role in our wellbeing, and are correlated to one another. More specifically, I focus a lot of my attention to my physical and emotional health, as I think that these are the most influential aspects of wellbeing in my life.

Wellbeing is important to me because I feel as though I am becoming a better person and am 100% myself when I am happy and practicing wellbeing activities.

In our lives we are all striving to be the best version of ourselves. We strive to do this by setting and reaching our goals, having a successful career, optimizing our health, and making connections to everyone and everything around us, etc. So, by intrinsically recognizing and becoming aware of our surroundings, goals, morals, values, and everything that plays a role in our wellbeing, we can optimize our individual wellbeing to the best of our ability.

What professional program are you in, and why did you choose your professional program? What are the connections between what you are studying/your future profession and wellbeing?

I chose nursing because I want to be the one person that a patient trusts to take care of them when they are in their most vulnerable state. I am passionate about Health and Wellbeing, so it brings me comfort knowing that I can guide and help patients on their recovery to utmost wellbeing.

I am dedicated to broadening my scope of practice in nursing, and am continually striving to be the best person and nurse I can be! In high school when I was deciding what I wanted my future to look like, I wanted to encompass my passion for health with the personality traits that I possess, and that led to me the field of nursing. Now in my senior year of Nursing School, I am confident that I made the right choice of nursing not as a job or a career, but as an intrinsically and fulfilling calling. 

As a nurse, I am taking care of people that are vulnerable and Ill, and may be scared, uncomfortable, nervous, home-sick, angry, sad, and any type of emotional burden that is related to being in the hospital or not feeling well. This being said, knowing the importance of wellbeing and promoting it to my patients is something that I find valuable and want to do in my future practice.

Where do you see yourself in five years? What are some hopes/goals/dreams that you have in terms of your wellbeing in the future?
My dream job that I would like to be doing in 5 years is being a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Women's Health/Midwifery & Integrative Health and Healing. Within the last two years I have recently discovered my love for prioritizing my health and living an optimally healthy and well life. I want to help others do the same through my nursing practice, specifically women.
There is so much to be considered when it comes to women’s health and wellbeing, so I want to combine my nursing skills with my love for wellbeing and holistic healing in my future career. I hope to continue to prioritize all of the aspects of wellbeing into my everyday life, and one goal/dream of mine is also to dedicate myself more to practicing yoga and maybe becoming a certified yoga instructor.