Together We Thrive

Together We Thrive is an initiative that aims to create a campus community that cultivates a culture of compassion, connection and well-being for Syracuse University students to thrive beyond resilience. Providing students the tools and skills they need to thrive is crucial for this to happen. Equally as important is addressing the environments students are learning, living, working and socializing within to ensure they are conducive with their ability to thrive.

Thriving Beyond Resilience

Resiliency as a protective factor for student success and well-being has been gaining traction in recent years. Significant research has connected resiliency to student success, retention, degree completion, and decreased rates of anxiety and depression. It is important to be aware that some communities and individuals have no other choice than to be resilient. Therefore, using this language can result in overlooking the inherent strengths of individuals.

For this reason, Together We Thrive promotes thriving rather than resilience, a concept that encompasses the essence and skills of resilience but includes what resiliency lacks—the agency over one’s own growth following adversity. With thriving, there is an intentional choice to utilize tools and skills that support the ability to bounce back quickly, followed by personal growth that improves overall well-being.

One aspect of this initiative is a four-week program of 75-minute sessions that has been piloted with several student populations. For the 2024-25 academic year, we are working with campus partners to incorporate programming on campus. In this program, participants engage in discussions and activities on the following topics.

  • Identifying and centering our values.
  • How to be kinder to ourselves through positive self-talk.
  • Guided mindfulness and meditation activities.
  • How to recognize when we are stressed and strategies to manage stress.
  • Cultivating a growth mindset.

The pilot cohorts have been assessed using validated scales on coping skills, resiliency, sense of belonging, emotional regulation, self-compassion, flourishing, mindfulness, anxiety and depression, and self-efficacy. Data from the pilot cohort showed statistical improvements in almost all the constructs assessed for.


Mindfulness and Meditation Programming

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Mindfulness and Meditation is a peer-facilitated program that provides students the opportunity to explore and practice different approaches to mindfulness in a welcoming and inclusive group setting. Mindfulness and Meditation sessions feature group discussions, mindfulness exercises and creative activities designed to empower students to incorporate mindfulness in their daily routines. Mindfulness and Meditation sessions have explored various topics related to emotional well-being ranging from self-compassion, sleep, gratitude and more!

Mindfulness and Meditation sessions are offered throughout the academic year. Check out the Wellness Portal to see our offerings.

To learn more about Mindfulness and Meditation, hear directly from a Health Promotion Peer Leader Kayla Turner ’24, in her article for The Peel, 5 Reasons You Should Try the Mindfulness and Meditation Program.


Contact

For more information regarding the Together We Thrive initiative, please contact Shannon Hefti, associate director of Health Promotion, at sahefti@syr.edu.