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Western Michigan University launches well-being platform to help students succeed, stay connected during distance learning

YOU at Western
Posted at 3:33 PM, Nov 17, 2020

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — New state emergency orders go into place on Wednesday suspending all in-person classes for high schools, colleges and universities.

One university was prepared for this change and launched an app to help stay connected and succeed during distance education.

60% of young people nationwide feel anxious about their future and want control over their lives, according to a study conducted in 2019.

Western Michigan University (WMU) launched a new platform to help provide resources and tools for students to do just that.

"It’s just finding new ways to not get very overwhelmed in a state of COVID craziness," said a Western Michigan University student Christopher Verhil.

Verhil is a transfer student at WMU and said in the middle of COVID he is trying to make friends, succeed in school and get involved on campus.

He said this new well-being platform 'YOU' at Western has already been a great help.

"If I am stressed out, need some advice or when I am not sure where to go for certain resources, one of the really cool features on there is that it will help you with the three self checks: the succeed, thrive and matter, self-checks. It will also help connect you with finding a job on campus or where to find certain RSO’s," said Verhil.

The well-being platform allows students to explore strengths and areas for growth in the three different areas: succeed, thrive and matter by completing self-assessments and reality checks.

"For instance if it is an academic area, it might be that they need to set some goals or time management to ensure that they get done what they need to to finish the semester. If it’s wellness, it might be having them think about how much sleep they’re getting. If they are not getting enough sleep, maybe there are some things they need to change in their day-to-day activities to help them sleep well," said Western Michigan University's Vice-President for Student Affairs Dr. Diane Anderson.

It also encourages students to set goals for themselves.

"One of the things that we know is that having a good job is not enough. You want to have a well-lived life. You want to contribute meaningfully, and you want to live a full and healthy life. We believe this platform will help students reflect on all of those areas so that their lives are not uni-dimensional," said Anderson.

While they just launched the app, WMU said they're hopeful that all of their students, faculty and staff will use it.

The school will also be able to monitor what areas are most important to users to better provide additional tools and resources.