Thank You For Letting Me Be Your KCS Well-being Leader

By: Yashvi Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

As I sit down to write my final blog post as your Well-being Leader, I am filled with a bittersweet mix of emotions. These past two years have been a journey of growth, reflection, and connection. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this initiative dedicated to promoting holistic well-being for students here at UMass Lowell. Yet, as I bid farewell, I also look ahead with excitement as I pursue my dreams of entering dental school.

Throughout my journey as a Well-being Leader, one lesson that has resonated with me above all is the importance of prioritizing mental health. I’ve learned firsthand that to be a source of light in other’s lives, I have to first tend to my own well-being. Through self-care practices and a renewed focus on the eight dimensions of well-being, I have seen improvements in different realms of life, not only in my academic performance but also through a profound shift in my outlook on life. 

Before stepping into the role of a Well-being Leader, I struggled with pessimism. However, throughout my experiences in this position, I have found healing for myself and have had the privilege of accompanying others in their healing journeys. Now, I feel that advocating for mental health awareness has become a personal mission, and I am proud to have connected with many individuals throughout this process who have lived through the same struggles as me. For example, as a freshman who entered UML during covid in 2020, I had a hard time navigating through my classes and adjusting to life on campus. Not only that, I was a commuter, so I benefited from staying involved in extracurricular activities and clubs where I found like-minded individuals with the same interests as me. I have interacted with other commuter students who have expressed similar concerns surrounding making new friends and getting involved. Sharing my personal experiences has allowed me to offer ways to have others go about resolving a similar issue of loneliness.

I would say the most transformative lesson I have learned is empathy. While I may not always understand someone else’s experiences, I have discovered that simply being present and listening holds so much power. In my interactions with others, I have come to realize that while I may not single-handedly change lives, I can provide a supportive starting point for individuals to consider their own well-being, one step at a time. 

As I transition into dental school, I will carry with me the invaluable skill of connecting with others on a personal level. My experience as a Well-being Leader has equipped me with effective strategies for building trust in the context of dental visits. By fostering genuine connections and monitoring progress over time, I have gained insights into the transformative impact of personalized care on patient outcomes. 

Above all, this journey has taught me the importance of self-check-ins as I navigate the various stages of life, whether it’s through school, work, family, or personal endeavors. Prioritizing self-care allows us to show up as our best selves for others and embrace the joys of life.

As I close this chapter and embark on the next stage of my journey, I extend my deepest gratitude for allowing me to serve as your Well-being Leader. Your support and shared experiences have shaped me in ways that I will forever cherish. Here’s to the continuation of our individual and collective paths toward greater well-being and fulfillment.