Objectives: Research shows that compassion from others and from the self may enable university students to face, overcome, and bounce back from adversity and generate a greater sense of thriving and meaning in life. However, the underlying processes are largely unknown. The present study aimed to examine the associations of compassion with psychological distress, flourishing, and meaning in life among university students and explore the mechanisms underlying these associations. Methods: A total of 536 Hong Kong university students completed questionnaires measuring their experiences of compassion from others, self-compassion, resilience, psychological distress, flourishing, and meaning in life. Results: Serial mediation analyses showed that compassion from others was associated positively with self-compassion, which was, in turn, linked to greater resilience and consequently lower levels of psychological distress and higher levels of flourishing and meaning in life. Conclusions: Our findings reveal the associations of compassion from others and self-compassion with the well-being and life meaning of university students. The findings highlight the importance of being open and receptive to love and kindness from others. The findings also point to the importance of developing a caring attitude toward oneself. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).