Happy, healthy success for students

When I came to WSU as an undergraduate student in 1997, I was not healthy. I didn’t have any type of obvious physical dysfunction. I just wasn’t thriving emotionally or physically.

How do you define health? I think happiness is health. Accepting who you are and what you can do is health. Finding your path and enjoying the journey – yes, I think that’s health too.

During my time at WSU, I’ve been an undergraduate student, graduate student and now an employee with a mission to support students. I’ve had a lot of time to consider what would have helped me to be healthy, to thrive, as a new student.

Here’s what I wish I would have known:

  • Do what’s important to you. People everywhere will be telling you what you should do and the best way to do it. (Like me right now!) But only you know what your goals are, and you’re the one who ultimately has to determine the best way for you to get there.
  • Know your support system. At Health and Wellness Services, we have programs and services to help support your mental, emotional and physical health. And across campus, there are so many people and offices specifically in place to help you with any challenge that may come your way.
  • Ask for help when you need it, even for the little things. And if the person you ask can’t or won’t help, keep asking until you find someone who will. I guarantee that whatever challenge you’re facing, there’s someone (usually more than one someone) on this campus who can and will help you.

Like me, you’ll get a lot of advice while you’re here at WSU. And maybe, like me, you’ll end up with a list of “I wish I would have knowns.” In the end, you’ll sort through it all and figure out what works best for you. And if you need help along the way, we’re here for you.

Paula Adams holds the position of associate director of health promotion at Health & Wellness Services and is a bit compulsive about effectiveness and efficiency. She is working toward a doctoral degree in prevention science.