Reflection on My “Wellness in Bloom” Comic Guide

By: Doa Jamal, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leaders

This semester, I chose to do my honors project for the Honors College. At first, I was having trouble deciding on what to do. Last fall, I took the Graphic Novels in Science and Medicine course as an Honors College elective. I enjoyed the class as it was the first class that allowed me to draw, which I don’t usually do during the academic year. The only times I draw are usually during the Summer or sometimes during school vacations as a way to relax. I would say this was the class I enjoyed the most during my entire four undergraduate years. The final project was to make a mini graphic novella where the booklet told a short story. The goal was to create something meaningful to us. Almost immediately, I knew I wanted to do something related to well-being because being a well-being leader has made such a meaningful impact on me. I also know that I am not adept at drawing humans, so I chose to make my characters flowers. The flowers also go along with the idea of growth and well-being blooming. 

Working on the project to create a small booklet teaching about the eight dimensions of wellness through comics was an incredibly rewarding experience. It provided me with the opportunity to combine my passion for both art and wellness education in a creative and engaging way.

The eight dimensions of wellness encompass various aspects of a person’s life, promoting holistic well-being. These dimensions include physical, emotional, social, intellectual, occupational, environmental, spiritual, and financial wellness. Each dimension addresses different facets of life, from maintaining physical health to fostering meaningful relationships, pursuing personal growth, finding purpose in work, connecting with nature, nurturing spirituality, and managing finances responsibly. Prioritizing these dimensions is crucial as they collectively contribute to a balanced and fulfilling life. Neglecting any dimension can lead to imbalances, affecting overall health and happiness. By striving to enhance each dimension, individuals can cultivate resilience, improve their quality of life, and experience a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

One of the most fulfilling parts of this project was the creative freedom I had in designing the comics. Being able to draw everything by hand allowed me to infuse each illustration with personality and convey complex concepts in a visually appealing manner. I found that the process of sketching, refining, and digitally editing the illustrations in Photoshop was both enjoyable and therapeutic. It allowed me to immerse myself in the project and truly bring the content to life. Although spending continuous hours in front of a screen to thoroughly Photoshop the images did almost drive me insane. Now I better understand art students. 

However, creating a booklet solely through comics presented its own set of challenges. I had to strike a balance between conveying information effectively and ensuring that the comics remained engaging and easy to understand. This required careful planning and attention to detail in both the artwork and the accompanying text. I found myself constantly revising and refining each comic to ensure that it effectively communicated the key principles of the eight dimensions of wellness.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from this project was the importance of collaboration and feedback. Throughout the process, I sought input from my mentor to ensure that the content resonated with the target audience and effectively conveyed the intended message. Incorporating feedback allowed me to refine the comics further and improve the overall quality of the booklet.

Moreover, working on this project reinforced the importance of wellness and self-care in my own life. As I delved deeper into the eight dimensions of wellness, I found myself reflecting on my own habits and practices related to physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This project served as a reminder to prioritize self-care and make conscious efforts to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

In conclusion, working on the project to create a booklet teaching about the eight dimensions of wellness through comics was a fulfilling and enriching experience. It allowed me to combine my passion for art and wellness education while learning valuable lessons about creativity, collaboration, and self-care. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked on this project and am excited to see how it will positively impact others on their journey towards improved well-being.

About to graduate? Tackle the job search.

By: Alejandra Malaga Walters, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leader

People in this generation have shown that they do not want a small life or a small job. They want to work in a place where they can experience a sense of purpose. To land a job like that, to be noticed among the many, some special spark in you must burn brightly. Every single person out there has the capability of obtaining such a spark. But for that, there’s a critical ingredient that it needs to grow: space. 

Space is the pathway to discovering a job you’re passionate about. Too often, job seekers get caught up in the anxiety of the hunt and forget to nurture their spark. They forget to take a minute to think, or to breathe, reflect, and recover from the stress of finding meaningful work. Without space, job searching becomes overwhelming and this may drive someone to choose a role they don’t really want or burn out before even entering the interview process. 

If you’re currently searching for a job and feeling stressed, the following strategies may help you take the space you need to make smarter decisions about your future:

  1. Bring your best self.

Rather than focusing on specific outcomes, you should visualize yourself bringing your best self to high-stake situations, such as job interviews or the first day of work. This practice can alleviate stress and restore a sense of calm and clarity. 

  1. Address worries appropriately.

To safeguard your well-being, try to separate emotions from worries. While it’s important to acknowledge and experience emotions fully, worries should be contained and addressed at specific times each day in a healthy way, such as journaling. This prevents rumination and maintains focus. 

  1. Give yourself a minute to think.

Instead of impulsively accepting any job offer out of financial pressure, you should take time to consider whether a role aligns with your long-term goals and values. Is it something you really want? Try to visualize yourself in the position. This involves quiet reflection and sitting with decisions before acting. 

Transitioning from school into the workplace isn’t easy. Be thoughtful, don’t panic, and back up your big dreams with action.  And remember, your first job does not define your entire future! Dream jobs often become more accessible once you have some experience, and as you progress in your career, the nature of your dream job might change. Relieve some of the pressure surrounding graduation knowing that you don’t have to be doing the perfect thing right away. 

Take advantage of the resources available to you through UMass Lowell:

  • The Career Center: meet with an advisor for assistance with resume building, job searching (including at career fairs), filling out applications, and developing interviewing skills
  • Well-being leaders: schedule a meeting with a well-being leader to connect you with on-campus resources and help you discover opportunities in your chosen field 
  • Handshake: join this online platform to connect with UML alumni and recruiting employers

Finally, remember, there’s something you can learn from every job, and every experience you have will benefit you as a professional. So, know that you’ve got this. You’re armed with your degree, and you should be proud of all you’ve accomplished so far. Now, breathe in, and get ready to take your next big step. 


Finding a Job is Stressful. Here’s How to Get Through it. ( 

About to Graduate? Don’t Freak Out About Your Career, Follow These Steps Instead (  

Financial Literacy- Fall 2022

In Fall 2022, our office hosted a series of three workshops about different aspects of financial literacy! We started in October with a financial aid workshop. We discussed how to navigate FAFSA and financial aid.

In November, our second workshop’s theme was how to Manage Money Masterfully. This budgeting workshop reviewed paychecks, credit reports, how to set financial goals, and how to set up a personal budget.

Our financial literacy series concluded with our December workshop on Investing in Your Future. UMass Lowell alum John Molvar discussed investing and financial wellness after college. Topics included credit cards, stocks, and other investments.

UML’s Strive to Improving Food Insecurity on Campus

Final Capstone project by Diana Morillo and Jade L. Caldwell

Reflection by Diana Morillo

The desire to help people and leave an impact was a strong motivator for me to intern for Student Life and Wellbeing on campus, as their mission and values are in line with mine. During this time, I had the opportunity to not only collaborate with the Student Life and Wellbeing on campus but also the UML strive pantry to fight against food insecurity on campus. The program aims to provide students with the resources and support they need to succeed at college through a holistic approach that integrates several components to maximize a person’s wellbeing (UML Wellbeing, 2022). The office of Student Life and Wellbeing has identified these components as emotional health, financial health, intellectual health, spiritual health, physical health, occupational health, environmental health, and social health. These are all important components of health in order to effectively address the needs of students who are experiencing a level of financial distress or have been unable to meet their basic needs, such as food security.

As an intern, my responsibility began with conducting research that would gather relevant data to translate into actionable insights with the purpose of improving food insecurity on campus. After a great deal of research and attending the National Anti-Hunger Conference, I became more aware of the need to improve the understanding of food insecurity to reduce the stigma, but also understand its effect on students not only outside the campus but also on campus. The research began with food insecurity, but it ultimately evolved into bridging the financial gap to access food through financial literacy. The reason is, that financial literacy is a critical component in food security, yet, 40 percent of four-year students reported struggling with basic financial literacy (NASFAA, 2018). This lack of financial literacy can be attributed to the fact that schools do not provide adequate financial education for students, so it is imperative for colleges to take on the initiative of implementing a financial literacy program to help students become financially literate (Financial Educators Council, 2022). With that being said, students could benefit from a financial literacy program to help reduce the risk of food insecurity.