We Are Westridge

A community blog featuring Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor, the Westridge Leadership Team, our esteemed faculty members and occasional special guests


Yale Is Addressing Student Happiness, But Solutions Must Start Much Earlier

by Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor

(Image source: Monica Jorge for The New York Times)

As reported in the New York Times in January, a new class at Yale on personal happiness, Psychology and the Good Life, attracted nearly a quarter of the school’s undergraduates. It is Yale’s most popular class ever, and its creator and professor, Dr. Laurie Santos, believes that its popularity stems from high school students “adopting harmful life habits” in their quest for college admission. Other psychologists believe social media is a factor in the alarming recent increases in depression, stress, and anxiety in America’s youth. 

Fostering a culture that develops and supports student wellness is a top priority at Westridge. I am a great believer that happiness is achieved through meaningful endeavors and caring relationships, ideals central to Westridge values and philosophy and thus infused throughout our program. And this year, Wellness and Balance is our annual theme. Efforts thus far have ranged from student-led events and parent education to professional development for our faculty, including a faculty meeting just yesterday with Tara Peris ’93, PhD., from UCLA, who spoke on child and adolescent anxiety. 

We know that habits of self-care and happiness learned early can change lives. From community reaction to this year’s annual theme of Wellness and Balance, we know it is a priority for our families as well. We hope you will continue to join us in this important conversation and work.

Posted by Samantha Chaffin in from the head of school, westridge thought leader, Wellness & Balance on Thursday February, 8, 2018


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