#NACACreads: Boosting Student Happiness

Student mental health has been a hot topic among educators for the last decade or so. But, too often, efforts to address this important issue have centered on students who are already struggling.

In contrast, When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness, focuses on prevention. The book, our latest #NACACreads selection, shines a light on positive psychology strategies that can be used by all students to increase their sense of well-being.

“Positive psychology studies the behaviors and mindsets that contribute to psychological health, well-being, and flourishing,” author Tim Bono explained during this week’s #NACACreads chat. “…(It’s) interested in getting in on the front end of the mental health crisis by identifying behaviors that can proactively build well-being and provide a buffer against distress before clinical interventions become necessary.”

College admission professionals from around the globe gathered on Twitter Wednesday to discuss the book and its implications for those in the college admission field.

Developing healthy habits, learning from setbacks, and keeping social media in perspective can help make the transition to college a little smoother, Bono said.

“Let’s stop the narrative of college as the ‘best four years of your life,’” tweeted Bono, a psychologist and lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis (MO). “Yes, college is a wonderful time, but it’s also a time to develop psychological strength to endure life’s inevitable adversity. Let’s help students keep expectations realistic.”

The happiest students are those who understand life includes ups and downs, he said. And happiness comes with its own rewards.

“When we are happier, we work harder, our ideas become more creative, we develop stronger relationships with others, and we rebound more quickly from adversity…all of which keeps us on track toward our goals and positions us for success,” Bono noted.

View a transcript of the chat and learn more about the book!

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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