By Nailah Edmead

Kathryn Jackson’s new podcast reflects on her own journey and blends her academic studies with her passion for helping her fellow ’Canes improve their own well-being.

For many new students, the transition from high school to college is a challenging time full of changed routines, a new community, and other uncertainties. Kathryn Jackson, a junior studying advertising with a minor in marketing and psychology, found the many transitional programs and orientation experiences offered at the University of Miami helpful, but knew that she needed to look inward to deal with the adjustments of her first year. 

Jackson, an Oklahoma City native, experienced a huge adjustment between her hometown and South Florida when she first arrived on campus. With such a culture shock, successfully navigating school, friendship, and her mental health proved a daunting task. 

“Being a first-year student brings many positive experiences, but there are often hardships that can be overlooked. Being pushed out your comfort zone, maintaining good grades, trying to fit in socially, all while still striving to feel physically good can be a burden to students’ mental health,” said Jackson. 

Jackson found that the more she invested into herself, the more she could find peace in her new environment. By being attentive to her mental health, Jackson surrounded herself with people and activities that contributed to her happiness. It’s here where she started new well-being practices like yoga and meditation. 

“After hitting a low point mentally my first-year, I was able to find peace in the present moment,” Jackson added. 

Her new dedication for mental wellness was not isolated. The Division of Student Affairs’ new Well-Being and Resiliency initiative provides a newsletter and other resources for students to prioritize their success and nurture their own health. The cross-campus effort stresses the importance of students taking an active role in strengthen their well-being in eight key dimensions.

This initiative, which launched in the fall semester, inspired Jackson to spread the same message in other ways. While appreciating the wide audience the newsletter reaches, she decided to contribute through a different media outlet: a podcast. Using an accessible platform, her new podcast is meant for students to enjoy on their walk to class, cleaning their room, or driving to campus. By broadening the discussion of mental wellness, Jackson hopes to provide an insightful narrative on the college experience. 

“The goal of the podcast is to have groundbreaking conversations with inspiring people that can share valuable advice for listeners. College is the place to invest yourself not only by excelling academically, but also by discovering things that contribute to your overall well-being,” said Jackson. 

Jackson’s studies have also attributed to the knowledge shared on her podcast. With a minor in psychology, her work in the classroom helps further her connection between wellness and mental health—which Jackson aims to share with her peers.  

“My hope is that in 2022 with the help of the student well-being resources, people will begin to live their most authentic lives,” concluded Jackson. 

The podcast’s first two episodes, including an introduction to well-being and a New Year’s edition, are now available to stream. Students, faculty, and staff can learn more about the University’s range of well-being programs and services at  

This article originally appeared at