With respect to the recent article on “Discussing Mental Health” (On the Campus, January issue), there is a tendency these days to confuse “wellness” with “well-being.” The psychologist Martin Seligman ’64 wrote a book called Flourish in which he distinguishes these two concepts. Wellness is akin to happiness; it is often transient and can be easily disrupted. Well-being, on the other hand, is based on accomplishment, achieving difficult tasks, and finding meaning in one’s work. Well-being is much more enduring. As a professor at Harvard Medical School, I have frequently seen students weaponize wellness; when there is something difficult or challenging, a respite is often demanded to ensure wellness. I wonder if Princeton students need time management training. The average student probably spends 12-15 hours per week in class, depending on lab courses they may be taking. That leaves 25 hours for studying, just based on a 40-hour workweek; assuming some extracurricular activities, some of the studying will be in the evening.

As a first-generation college student, I viewed college like a job. My classes and related work were a privilege and took priority. I was still a member of the band and an eating club and majored in politics while doing all of my pre-medical requirements as electives. I never had to miss a meal or pull an all-nighter. Frankly, if students are having difficulty managing their work in college, they may wish to avoid professional school. Our students at Harvard Medical School spend 28 hours per week in class in the first year and are expected to do significant preparatory work, since we use a “flipped classroom” model in which we focus on problem-solving in class.

Richard M. Schwartzstein ’75
Brookline, Mass.