“When I first entered UConn, I was confident about pursuing a career as a therapist. However, during my sophomore year, my experience with the Life Purpose Lab led me on an unexpected but profoundly rewarding path. Through my involvement with the lab, I discovered a way to integrate my passion for mental health with other interests that inspire me. As I did more self reflection, I began to realize that my passions aligned more closely with medicine. This realization was a pivotal moment in my journey. The Life Purpose Lab not only helped me embrace this newfound direction but also showed me how to channel my passions effectively. I learned that purpose isn't confined to a single mission or goal, but rather a continuous commitment to meaningful pursuits. By engaging in activities that both challenge me and bring me joy, I can achieve my ambition of becoming a doctor while finding fulfillment along the way. The lab's guidance and support were instrumental in shaping this perspective.” Paige
“The seminar on finding life purpose has offered me opportunities to acquire a new perspective on my life and enhance my skills on handling the situation. I really enjoyed writing about other possible selves and exploring each one for a week. All in all this class is a great class that honestly didn't feel like a class but felt like a chill place to self improve.” Al-Ameen
“I worked for Dr. Bradley Wright as a research assistant throughout my sophomore year at UConn, and it was a formative and life-changing experience. As a recent immigrant to the United States, I joined Dr. Wright’s lab to gain more than just research experience and an impressive entry on my resume. I was intrigued by the scientific approach that Dr. Wright put forth for understanding the complex dynamics of life purpose, but more implicitly, I was motivated by my own desire to find order in the chaos of my first few years in a new country.
The Purpose Lab gave me substantial hard skills like conducting focus groups and in-depth interviews, coding qualitative data, and communicating complex ideas effectively, in addition to soft skills like working in a close-knit team and connecting deeply with diverse people. As RAs, we helped Dr. Wright build a conceptual framework for purpose and interviewed college students and recent retirees in the midst of major life transitions to understand the evolution of meaning in their lives. We also helped contribute to business ideas that could enrich lives and contribute to deeper introspection. Furthermore, we synergistically built strong bonds by analyzing our own sense of purpose and meaning in a team setting to contribute to stronger conceptual models and analyses.
Over the course of my year at the Purpose Lab, I completed numerous exercises that probed my values systems, helped me identify the activities that give me both meaning and happiness, and helped me find a unique path to “putting a dent in the universe”. Dr. Wright was instrumental in changing the way I viewed my life goals. I began to see myself as more than an economics major, but as a leader who could effectively combine my passions for research, advocacy, and entrepreneurship to create a national organization that could use data to boost economic mobility. On a more personal note, as the figurative monk who wanted to change the world but realized that he could only really change himself, the Purpose Lab also taught me how to sustain healthy and constructive relationships, in addition to giving me strong, life-long friendships with the other incredible research assistants.
Dr. Bradley Wright is also the kindest and most inspiring person I have had the good fortune to work with. He is intrinsically driven to bring value to people’s lives and transform their outlook on life in a compassionate and intellectual manner, without being paternalistic or overbearing. He deeply invests in his research assistants and cares deeply about their happiness and personal growth. Dr. Wright has been a relentless supporter, an insightful mentor, and a passionate advocate for helping me become the best version of myself - I owe so much of my success to him and I feel immensely grateful to have him in my corner. Working with Dr. Wright at the Purpose Lab is an impactful and transformative experience, and I could not recommend it more!” Nidhi
“With the guidance of Dr. Wright I came out of the Purpose Retreat with a better sense of who I am and how I make a difference in this world. The strength in knowing where you belong and what you care about is immeasurable, and his resources will most certainly make you realize that there is more potential in your life than you ever thought possible.” Eleanor
“The Life Purpose Lab Seminar helped me elevate the time I have spent thus far at UCONN, in a way that gave me a better perspective on my trajectory beyond university. The seminar gave me tools and methods, that empowered me to tackle what comes next, with excitement. These teachings helped me look at the goals and aspirations that I have for such a future in a manageable productive way.” Sam
"Before taking the lab, I was unsure of the direction that I wanted to go. After doing the exercises with my class and with the support of Professor Wright, I was able to realize that I want to go into education. The class structure felt safe and accepting, as my classmates and I were able to connect with each other on the shared value of Life Purpose. Not only did I graduate from the lab, I was also a Teaching Assistant for 2 other sections in the semester after I took the class. As a Teaching Assistant I supported students on their Purpose Projects and helped them narrow down what they hope to have/do in life. I learned so much not only from teaching but also from the students themselves. Everyone should take the Life Purpose lab as it has made a beautiful impact on me and not a day goes by where I do not think about my purpose." Jenn