Reflecting on Wellness: Navigating the End of the Academic Year – Reminders from a Seasoned Student Affairs Professional Alumna

As the semester draws to a close and graduation day for so many looms on the horizon, it’s natural for students to feel a mix of emotions—excitement, nostalgia, uncertainty, and perhaps even a hint of anxiety about what lies ahead. As a student affairs professional, you are likely in the midst of wrapping up final projects and preparing for the next academic year, perhaps feeling similar sentiments as the 2024 graduating class. Now, more than ever, it is SO important to take a moment to pause and reflect onyour own holistic well-being. It is Mental Health Awareness Month, after all. 

As a past student affairs professional who has supported countless students through their academic journeys over the last decade, I understand the significance of holistic wellness in this work to support students during theirtime both inside and outside of the classroom. You likely are experiencing so many feelings, emotions, and exhaustion as you wrap up the academic year and watch the students youcoached, advised, mentored, supported, etc., reach their end goal in college…graduation day(how fun if we could cross the stage every year as a part of our work). But it is not graduation for you; it is time to start thinking about 2024-2025. 

With that in mind, I invite you to join me in a moment of self-reflection utilizing the 10 dimensions of wellness as we gear up for what the summer and fall may mean in student affairs. Let’s be real: you are tired and could use a minute to yourself, am I right? 

I hope you can take a few minutes for yourself and do a wellness check. And I really hope the questions below help ground you. Summer may be slower than the academic year, but August is only 87 days away…

Take this time to reflect. You deserve it! 

Physical Wellness:

  • How have I prioritized my physical health throughout the semester?
  • Have I maintained balanced nutrition, engaged in regular physical activity, and gotten enough sleep?
  • What adjustments can I make to improve my physical wellness as I transition into the next academic year? 

Emotional Wellness:

  • How have I managed my emotions during times of stress and uncertainty?
  • Have I sought support from friends, family, or mental health resources when needed?
  • What strategies have helped me cultivate emotional resilience and well-being?

Intellectual Wellness:

  • In what ways have I challenged myself intellectually and pursued lifelong learning?
  • Have I engaged in critical thinking, creativity, and curiosity,both personally and professionally?
  • What intellectual pursuits do I hope to engagein this summerwhen the students are not on campus?

Social Wellness:

  • How have I nurtured meaningful relationships and connections with others?
  • Have I actively participated in social activities and community engagement opportunitiesin my free time outside of work?
  • How can I maintain and strengthen my social network?

Spiritual Wellness:

  • What practices or beliefs have provided me with a sense of purpose and meaning?
  • Have I taken time for self-reflection, meditation, or mindfulness to nurture my spiritual well-being?
  • How can I continue to cultivate spiritual wellness as I navigateday-to-day life?

Environmental Wellness:

  • Have I been mindful of my impact on the environment and practiced sustainability?
  • How have I created a supportive and healthy living and learning environment for myself?
  • What actions can I take to promote environmental wellness athome or at work?

Financial Wellness:

  • How have I managed my finances and budgeted effectively?
  • Have I sought out financial literacy resources and made informed financial decisions?
  • What steps can I take to achieve financial stability?

Occupational Wellness:

  • What career aspirations do I have at this stage in my life?
  • Have I taken steps to develop my skills, build my professional network, and prepare for an elevated role in student affairs?
  • How can I continue to prioritize my career growth and fulfillment?

Cultural Wellness:

  • How have I celebrated diversity and embraced different cultures and perspectives?
  • Have I engaged in cross-cultural experiences and intercultural dialogue?
  • What can I do to promote inclusivity and cultural understanding in my work?

You may not be able to answer all of these, but I hope it allowed you to take a moment to think about yourself and how you are doing. As we approach the end of the semester and academic year, let us continue to reflect on our holistic wellness and celebrate the growth and achievements that both our students and we have experienced over these last two semesters.Remember that wellness is a journey, and by prioritizing our well-being in all its dimensions, we can navigate life’s stressors with resilience, purpose, and fulfillment.I no longer work in student affairs, but I know first-hand how easy it is to get lost in the hustle and bustle. Slow down a little when you can.

Wishing you a restful May. 

Be well, and I hope you continue being.better. 


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