The Eight Dimensions of Wellness: Enjoying the Social Dimension

Members of the Student Wellness Committee want to encourage other students to pursue wellness, both for themselves and as role models for future patients.

Students have been writing about different aspects of the eight dimensions of wellness, as defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Here’s the fourth article, written by second-year College of Medicine student Ella Potter, on the social dimension. Watch The Pulse for upcoming posts!

As a bit of an introvert, I really enjoy my alone time. That being said, during my first semester at NEOMED I came dangerously close to social isolation. Social withdrawal and isolation are experienced by many professional students and can lead to mental health and self-esteem issues. Everyone needs meaningful interactions and relationships…and professional students are no exception.

I was one of the 16 traditional/direct entry students last year, so I did not know too many people first semester. When the semester was coming to an end, I was invited to join a big group for an evening out. I remember feeling completely refreshed from the semester in just one night. I did not realize how much I had missed just hanging out with friends. The comfort and sense of community I gained from that night changed how I approached the next semester and this year.

Instead of doing most of my studying in my room, I decided to study on campus a few times a week. There are always people around and passing by, providing little social breaks throughout the day. I also did some studying with some trusted friends in the library and NEW Center rooms. Sometimes we studied independently but shared a space. We could bounce questions off each other, take breaks together, and hold each other accountable. Other times we would prepare separately then meet to quiz each other.

My friendships have extended outside of the classroom, too. We go out to eat, celebrate birthdays, sit by The Village firepit and screen episodes of Game of Thrones. We even enjoyed an Easter dinner. Making small changes in my study habits and taking the time to engage with my friends has made my experience at NEOMED much more enjoyable.

Group study tips

If you are interested in group study, here are some tips from my experience:

1. Embrace the differences you have as students – learning styles, knowledge gaps, and strengths/weaknesses.

  • Being quizzed by a partner from their own notes showed me what I tended to focus on and helped point out my weaknesses.

2. Share your expectations with the group and update them as you go.

  • Do you want to review lectures? Self-test each other? Explain concepts to one another? Review questions you completed independently?

3. Keep the group smaller.

  • I study with just one person so we are both constantly involved, but I would suggest a group size of four or five students, maximum.

4. Group study should be a benefit to all parties involved. There are many sensible reasons to find a new partner/group. Consider switching things up if:

  • Your study/learning styles are clashing
  • Your time is not being respected
  • You do not feel comfortable with the partner/group

5. Use the opportunity to promote accountability and encourage one another.

I encourage you to talk to someone in the Center for Student Wellness and Counseling Services if you need help navigating these or other situations.

For additional help

Students needing additional support for academic strategies are encouraged to contact the Learning Center at 330.325.6758 or to visit A-102. Students needing emotional support are encouraged to contact the Center for Student Wellness and Counseling Services at 330.325.6757

The Student Wellness Committee is sponsored by the Office of Student Services in R-132, 330.325.6735.

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