Exploring the World of Positive Psychology and Resiliency

“Positive psychology and wellbeing are all about looking at how you can adapt and still stay positive despite changes,” says Reid Anctil ‘22, who majored in Psychology and minored in Business Administration. From Westford, Massachusetts, Anctil’s college experience demonstrates the power of positive psychology and wellness strategies.

While most college students—including Anctil himself—can struggle with the pressure of finals, midterms, and grades, Anctil’s journey at Champlain began with a far more harrowing challenge: a tumor diagnosis. Dealing with health issues and juggling the demands of college life, he quickly discovered a lifeline in practicing unique coping mechanisms. Positive psychology and wellness strategies became invaluable tools for Anctil during this time and helped him to adapt and maintain resilience through the long road ahead.

“It’s all about looking at it through your personal life, like how you’ve experienced these different things that she talks about and how the resiliency workshop can help you get through those obstacles that you’re facing,” he says.

Back at school after recovery, Anctil was more committed than ever to his studies and dove deeper into the world of wellbeing. He not only learned about coping and stress strategies through his coursework but he was also encouraged to practice it as well. Champlain courses provided Anctil with practical tools, such as deep breathing and “Zorro circles,” a technique that involves breaking down important tasks into smaller, more manageable components to make them less daunting.

Integrating Wellbeing into the Champlain Experience

Wellbeing is interwoven into the fabric of the Champlain College experience. Specialized courses such as Dr. Quinn’s “Mindcraft Course” and Dr. Colombo’s Music for Health and Wellbeing provide students with tools to enhance their wellbeing and shift their perspective.

As a Psychology major in the School of Social Innovation, Anctil emphasizes the close-knit nature of the program. Smaller class sizes mean that professors not only teach but also mentor students individually. This personalized approach allows students like Anctil to share their stress or concerns, fostering a collaborative environment where solutions benefit everyone.

“The professors all know you. If you need a break, you can talk with the professors,” says Anctil.

Reid Anctil in the Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory of Barabara Colombo.
Reid Anctil in the Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory of Barabara Colombo.

Resilience Workshops: A Collaborative Learning Experience

Anctil enthusiastically shared his experience with Champlain’s resiliency workshops, a collaboration with Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. Led by Dr. Aude Henin, these weekly sessions provide students with dedicated time for resilience training and mindfulness practices. The workshops follow a structured format that encourages students to apply the concepts they learn to their lives.

“It’s always really fun. I look forward to it every Wednesday. It’s like a little break in my day that I get to do resiliency and mindfulness stuff,” says Anctil.

Embracing Wellbeing for Personal Growth

As Anctil navigated the intersection of psychology, business, and resilience, his Champlain College experience became a testament to the College’s commitment to holistic education. By emphasizing wellness, we ensure that our students are not only academically ready but also equipped with the resiliency to face life’s challenges positively.

Anctil’s experience exemplifies the transformative potential of integrating wellbeing practices into education, setting the stage for a future where Champlain College graduates are not just career-ready but resilient individuals prepared for life’s complexities.

Your future in Psychology is only a click away. Add Champlain College to your Common App.

Melina del Castillo

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