December 23, 2020
As 2020 comes to a close, we’ve asked members of the Rowan community to reflect on their experiences related to well-being. Perhaps after some reflection, you'll find that you had many moments of growth and joy during this challenging year. We hope that you take a moment to check in with yourself and to give yourself credit and gratitude for making it to this moment. We've enjoyed connecting with you this year in the Strive to Thrive Newsletter, where we've learned our community is full of support, resilience, and kindness.

Please read on for ways to engage with the Rowan community over winter break. We look forward to further connecting with you in 2021!

Reflection of Resilience in 2020 and Hope for Happiness in 2021

If you would have told me this time last year that I would be living amidst a global pandemic and spending most of my time at home, I would have thought you were crazy. 2020 really wasn’t what anybody expected. One moment, you’re just going about life as a college student and having the college experience and the next thing you know, a deadly virus is discovered, campus gets shut down halfway through the semester, and now you’re doing everything online until further notice. I mean, honestly, no one thought 2020 was going to end up the way it did. 
Yet, despite the craziness of it all, 2020 has provided some good along the way - like looking within to find the simple joys and happiness. Things like discovering the convenience of curbside pick-up, or laughing at some funny GroupMe chats and connecting with friends over Netflix Parties and online Bingo nights, or even the ease of not having to go out in the rain to get to class. 2020 has also given us the drive to persevere through the hard times. Personally, I can think about the constant work I put in day in and day out to do well in all of my classes despite most of them being all online. 
Though, I’m sure you’re wondering what’s next for 2021. Is it still going to be 2020 again or are we finally going to see that light at the end of the tunnel? While no one can give us the answer, the lessons we’ve learned from this year can help change our narrative and perspective. Together, we can remember the things we’ve learned from 2020 and the Rowan Thrive Model, simple joys and happiness, resilience, and taking care of ourselves, as we face 2021 with open arms. During this month-long break, I challenge everyone to find ways to incorporate self-care and redefine what it means to be resilient and happy for you. You might be surprised at how it changes your perspective into a positive one.

-Rachael Owen (she/her/hers)
Class of 2023
Public Health & Wellness

With the holiday season upon us, the Rowan Blog team spoke to students about what they are thankful and grateful for this year. This is what they had to say. Read More.

The infamous phrase of “Work now, rest later” has been ingrained into everyone’s mind in order to enforce a productive work week. This saying is obsolete and no longer provides the benefits one once thought they reaped.
A constant cycle of working hard with little to no sleep is detrimental to your mental health and overall well-being. 
As a Rowan student in the mid 00’s I couldn’t clearly articulate my purpose, let alone tie it to an academic major or career path. It’s why I often say I majored in “a little bit of everything” as an undergrad. It wasn’t until I got older, and a little bit wiser, that I realized I was actually finding my purpose by investing my time and energy into the activities and relationships that brought joy to my life.

Fast forward to 2020. External factors altered our jobs, impacted our experiences as students, changed the way we maintain relationships, and left us seeking new and creative ways to fill our free time. With so much uncertainty, it’s likely we all reevaluated our purpose to some degree during this past year. Personally, the unique circumstance of working from home with new coworkers - an infant, a toddler, and an attention seeking dog - gave me a new appreciation for my job as a parent and shifted the way I approach balancing professional and familial responsibilities.

In 2021, I encourage fellow members of the Rowan community to search for purpose in the things that you love, that inspire you, and that bring you happiness. With or without a pandemic you may be met with uncertainty, but by taking the time to slow down and reflect your purpose just might become that much clearer. And if it doesn’t? That’s OK, too. Experiment and “major in a little bit of everything” until you figure it out. 

-Chris D’Angelo ‘07, M’10
Director of Alumni Engagement
Tuesday, 12/29 @ 11 a.m.

The Office of Career Advancement welcomes students, alumni and staff to create an online Vision Board. A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on what truly matters to you. Let’s focus the future year, together. All you need is a laptop, a FREE Canva account or a simple Word document, and an open mind. The Vision Board we be based on the #RowanThrive Dimensions of Well-Being.

Study music with our world renown university faculty through our own community school! Rowan University's Community Music School is currently enrolling students of all ages (including Adults!) for music lessons on all instruments (strings, piano, winds, brass & percussion) and voice (musical theater & classical!). Rowan employees and students enjoy waived registration fees and a 10% discount on lessons for themselves, their spouses or their children.
This semester was far from normal, and I needed to challenge myself in new ways, physically and psychologically. Participating regularly in Yoga and Prof Strong group fitness classes gave me a refreshing clarity. All of the Campus Rec instructors have been welcoming, kind, and 100% genuine. Additionally the university safety measures during the Covid-19 pandemic has made me feel safe to actively participate.

Through movement and eating better, I noticed the changes immediately and have never felt better in my life! The reason for my success was simply the ability to go out and look for challenges. I feel like so many people are looking for excuses not to do things and stay in their comfort bubbles, which means they are ultimately missing out on the best versions of themselves. I’m grateful for all of Rowan's efforts towards student well-being in stressful times and realized that my health has become my main priority.

Class of 2021
Radio/Television/Film Major 
Rowan Admissions Videographer, Journalist
To find Campus Rec classes offered over winter break go to
Over the past 9 months, I have l taken time to think about the needs in our community and the different groups of people who are being disproportionately impacted by the hardships of COVID-19. The elderly, sick, and those who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are just a few groups who are more at risk for experiencing a multitude of struggles and setbacks that come along with living through a pandemic. These are also the groups we typically serve through our office. Though these times have been tough and we have been forced to reimagine how we are able to help our community, students have consistently stepped up to ask how they can help and where they can pitch in to make a difference. Through the determination of our staff and the eagerness of students to give back, we have been able to provide for many of the groups I previously mentioned and more. I look forward to working with students in the new year to serve the needs of the community as we continue to navigate the intricacies of the pandemic.

-Alexis Graesser
MA - Higher Education Class of 2021
Throughout my time at Rowan, my social well-being has been one of my top priorities. For me and several of my peers, the Student University Programmers (SUP) has given endless opportunities to enhance this area of our well-being and positively contribute to the growth of it across our campus community. So many of us search for a sense of belonging when we step on to campus, and for many of us, including myself, we have found that within SUP. Because of this inherent drive to enhance our social well-being and build/foster genuine human connection, many of us involved have been able to build lifelong friendships through this organization. Although that’s not unique to SUP, it really does pay to allow yourselves to be vulnerable to put yourself out there, get involved, and write your own story.

When the pandemic hit, the need for social well-being was heightened. It was hard for all of us to adapt to the changes - the loneliness, uncertainty, anxiousness; but with SUP and many other organizations on campus, we were able to have the same social interactions - whether socially distant or virtual - and this feeling of belonging only looked different, but certainly felt the same. Rowan and SUP have given me the confidence to succeed and the sense of belonging to improve my social well-being and I only hope that in 2021 you can find the same. 

-Camryn Hadley
Class of 2021
Public Relations and Advertising Major
This past pandemic year has really opened my eyes to see the significant financial disparities in our students and employees. The fear knowing that your income could be compromised to pay necessary monthly bills has impacted many individuals, whether directly or seen through parents, relatives, peers, or friends. The virus has also provided a snapshot of certain communities' access to technology. Although many have persevered through a challenging time, 2021 may continue to financially stress members in our community. For those that need help, please ask without shame or guilt. For those that are blessed with excess, find ways to donate or serve. Students have also been impacted by the job market with less opportunities, but be resilient and continue to find ways to build your skills and open the doors for success. We know these holidays may bring about a different experience and that no financial situation can mitigate loss or grieving. As a Rowan community, if there is ever a time to look out for one another and to provide hope….the time is now.  

Director of Campus Recreation
Division of Student Life
Rowan Thrive Committee Member

Rowan University is committed to keeping the education experience affordable for every one of our students. We value and prioritize affordability and consider it a key element in achieving our goals. In fact, affordability is one of the University’s Four Strategic Pillars that is focused on reducing student debt, limiting tuition increases, and enhancing internship and employment opportunities.

To help our students navigate some of the financial decisions they may encounter throughout their time here at Rowan, we have compiled numerous resources that could help keep life in college more affordable.

On this site you will find links to a variety of resources ranging from academic services and financial assistance to computer lab locations, free tax help, and cost-saving transportation alternatives.

The resources provided on this site are intended to help our students maintain an affordable lifestyle while simultaneously gaining a priceless life experience and education here at Rowan.
“The Strive to Thrive newsletter intends to bring you well-being ideas, tips, events, information and ways to connect through all dimensions of well-being (physical, social, emotional, purpose, community, and financial). We hope that this layout reminds you of all of the many ways to nourish, attend to, and elevate your well-being and the well-being of those around you.”
Strive to Thrive is a newsletter for the Rowan University community. Visit or contact for more information.