The two of us are coworkers, but we are also friends and chaotic roommates. Whether over morning coffee or late at night, we regale each other with absurd Instagram videos as often as we talk about how our days went. 

One January morning, though, a banner for the Carlos Museum’s new exhibit — “And I Must Scream! The Monstrous Expression of Our Global Crises” — pushed us to think bigger. The world is changing quickly, and not always for the better; technology is permeating our homes, COVID-19 is still dominating community life, populism is reshaping politics and climate change threatens to destroy the world as we know it. Postmodernity is painful, and many of us aren’t dealing with it well. If you ask an Emory student how they’re doing, odds are that they’ll tell you they’re stressed, burned out or worried. What, we wondered, would a good life even look like amid the crisis and change of our time?

To find out, we asked the Emory Wheel’s Editorial Board. In this project, you’ll find a wide range of perspectives on well-being and how we can achieve it, from Associate Editor Rachel Broun’s (23C) call for more walkable cities to Editorial Board member Dani Parra del Riego’s (25C) defense of mindfulness. You may disagree with all of us, or you may find a few ideas worth using in your own life. But at its heart, this project is simply here to help you start interrogating what it means to live well as a human being, as a member of your community, or just as yourself. If we accomplish that, we will have succeeded. So, what do you think? What is flourishing in the 21st century?

Demetrios Mammas (23C) is the Editorial Board Editor and Ben Thomas (23C) is the Chair of the Editorial Board. Both oversaw “Flourishing in the 21st Century.” 

Without investing in walkable cities, we are failing to invest in ourselves and our cities. For my last year at Emory, I will cherish the closeness I have with my friends. When I leave, I will look for a city where I can create the same intimacy I have found at Emory.

By Rachel Broun (23C)

College might not always be the best four years you’ve ever spent, but why should it be? Maybe the golden moments of college life are what you remember when you look back. Maybe the best years are still to come.

By Chaya Tong (25C)

Your four years at Emory don’t have to be a way station for you to check some quantitative boxes; they can be four of the freest, most formative years of your life. Don’t waste them.

By Ben Thomas (23C)

My journey in learning to cherish the natural world began at a young age, inspired by my family’s spirit of volunteerism and an even deeper primordial sense of wanderlust.

By Demetrios Mammas (23C)

On the individual level, we have to be more willing to engage with those we disagree with, and we have to get more comfortable with tough, uncomfortable subjects if we are to acknowledge our hypocrisy and then do something about it.

By Jake Busch (22C)

My defense of mindfulness as a small practice with a large impact does not come from a place of minimizing other stressors in life. Rather, it acts a tool that better equips us with the fulfillment to better tackle them.

By Dani Parra del Riego (25C)

Instead of getting discouraged, I have managed to use this pressure to remind myself of the importance of proving Latinx women are capable of more than what the patriarchy expects from us.

By Sara Perez (24C)