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From Surviving to Thriving
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From Surviving to Thriving
A student’s guide to feeling and doing well at university

First Edition
Edited by:


March 2022 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Many universities around the world are seeing how they can use theories of positive psychology to help students cope well with the ever-increasing stresses of modern-day life and university.

This practical, hands-on book will help you understand, experience and put into practice skills and strategies to improve and sustain your wellbeing so that you can thrive throughout your time at university. With enough scientific theory and knowledge for you to understand why it works, our focus is on practical activities that will make a difference in your life. 

Edited and authored by practising university teachers of the science of wellbeing, this textbook is essential reading for any student, whether you are studying positive psychology or just navigating university life. Each chapter explores a key area of positive psychology and provides activities to enhance your wellbeing and contribute to that of other people. Covering topics from identifying your strengths to mindfulness, and from dealing with adversity to the importance of play, this book will help you move from surviving to thriving at university.

Christian van Nieuwerburgh is Professor of Coaching and Positive Psychology at the Centre for Positive Psychology and Health at the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, and Global Director of Growth Coaching International.

Paige Williams is an Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Positive Psychology and an Associate of Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne.

Christian van Nieuwerburgh and Paige Williams
Chapter 1. Introduction: Thrive at university
Paige Williams and Christian van Nieuwerburgh
Chapter 2. Learn about how you learn
Andrea Giraldez-Hayes
Chapter 3. Identify your strengths
Rachel Colla
Chapter 4. Be hopeful
Ana Paula Nacif
Chapter 5. Focus on what is possible
Peggy Kern
Chapter 6. Look after yourself
Rona Hart
Chapter 7. Live in the moment
Aneta Tunariu
Chapter 8. Invest in relationships
Hanna Kampman
Chapter 9. Prepare for adversity
Robert Biswas-Diener
Chapter 10. Be playful
Michael Steger
Chapter 11. Find meaning
Aaron Jarden and Rebecca Jarden
Chapter 12. Learn about yourself
Tim Lomas
Chapter 13. Care about the world
Christian van Nieuwerburgh and Paige Williams
Chapter 14. Conclusion: Savour your experiences

I suggested students to read the book.

Professor Afsin Sahin
Department of Banking, Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University
December 7, 2022

This book helps me to guide students in their survival tactics through the journey of learning and understanding how to manage their work in order to sustain their performance.

Dr Quazi Zaman
Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment , Robert Gordon University
December 6, 2022

I’ve recently become more interested in the topic myself and was looking for resources to complement my current course. I like the variety of topics and the approach that provides both some theoretical background for students who’d like to know more about the topics and practical exercises. Great book!

Dr Vera Leberecht
Educational Admin, Cologne University of Applied Sciences
February 23, 2023

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 7: Live in the Moment


Christian van Nieuwerburgh

Christian is a well-respected executive coach, internationally-recognised academic and sought-after consultant.Christian van Nieuwerburgh is Professor of Positive Psychology and Coaching at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Global Director of Growth Coaching International. Previously he was a Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer within the Coaching Psychology programmes at the University of East London, one of the world’s leading centres for the postgraduate study of coaching. He lectured on a number of MSc programmes in the School of Psychology, and continues to undertake ground-breaking research and international... More About Author

Paige Williams