It’s Okay To Not Be Okay: Max McGuire ’17 Shares His Journey

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Throughout each year, New Hampton School works with a number of speakers as part of our school life curriculum to tackle highly important conversations with the community. While students often hear from their advisors and other school leaders, it is often through the voice of a peer that stories resonate in a new way. Max McGuire, Class of 2017, returned to campus on Friday, January 14, to share his story of anxiety and depression and his motivation to start What a Wonderful Life.

Max attended New Hampton for a postgraduate year before moving on to the rigorous student-athlete life of Fairfield University as a marketing major and as the goalkeeper for the men’s lacrosse team. Max shared his experience as a division one athlete and the ups and downs of navigating life as a student-athlete at Fairfield.

Max McGuire speaks with students at New Hampton School

An Open Conversation

While opening up the conversation to questions from the community, students were curious to ask him about his journey since New Hampton and about mental health. One such question was, “What advice do you have for students struggling with anxiety and depression?” Max was honest and vulnerable about his journey while encouraging students to reach out for help. “It’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to not be okay, and you are not alone.”

Max’s journey led him to begin the formation of What a Wonderful Life, harnessing his mission to support mental health initiatives through accessible fashion. He shared how the company transpired and emphasized the importance of just being yourself. “I never felt like my creative side was something important or that I had a reason to express it until I realized that it was just a part of who I was.”

Supporting Mental Health Awareness

Following the presentation, students engaged in meaningful dialogue with their advisory groups. Following advisory, Max invited students interested in continuing the conversation to chat during lunch in the Academic Research Center. We are grateful for Max’s engagement with our students and his ongoing work supporting mental health awareness.

About Max McGuire

Max is a 2017 graduate of New Hampton School a 2021 graduate of Fairfield University, where he studied marketing and graphic design and competed as an NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse player. The Del Mar, California native is the founder and creative director of What a Wonderful Life, created in March 2020.

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