Thrive & Wellbeing

Thrive is a campus-wide initiative, owned by every member of the Wake Forest University community. The Office of Wellbeing leads the campus in making wellbeing a part of every experience in the lives of students, faculty, and staff.

Malika Roman Isler directs the University’s new Thrive initiative, bringing together existing programs and services and developing new ones to address eight areas of wellbeing: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.


People have emotional wellbeing when they know their pressure points and how to adapt to them. They can handle life’s ups and downs because they accept that they can happen and because they can often make preemptive strikes against them by knowing whom and when to ask for help.


Environmental wellbeing flows from a physical environment that is holistically well: one with healthy lands, waterways, and built spaces; one that provides people with opportunities to relax, reflect, and restore all of their senses.


Financial Wellbeing is essentially people’s ability to manage what they have in a responsible manner—both in the short term and the long—and achieve peace of mind and a piece of their dreams.


People attain intellectual wellbeing when they view learning as an end unto itself rather than simply a means to a specific personal or professional outcome. They move beyond making observations; they start developing ideas.


More than just a balancing act between work and life, occupational wellbeing is also about people finding purpose and fulfillment in what they do. When they know they’re making a difference, they’re achieving it.


Physical wellbeing melds needs for responsible consumption, vigorous activity, and rest-driven renewal. Think of it as the intersection of diet, diligence, and decompression.


Social wellbeing is the result of positive and regular interactions with others in a variety of settings. Studies have shown that building and maintaining strong relationships is vital to happiness. People are social creatures who occasionally need a gentle nudge to find the right outlets.


The concept of spirituality has as many interpretations as the planet has people. But generally speaking, spiritual wellbeing can be achieved when people’s core values and beliefs tie them to a sense of something larger than themselves and empower them to act according to those beliefs.