Wellness Word: March 7

Let’s get back to the essentials, shall we?

Like many pre-med students, right now I am spending time going back to the fundamentals of the natural sciences. I spend a lot of time every day reviewing what atoms are made of, which parts of the cell do what and how to dissect a good old five paragraph essay for its main points. I’ve learned a lot of this already, but now it’s time to make sure my fundamentals are in place before I dive into the complexities of biochemical interactions within the cell or the multiple-lined vector diagram of a ball hanging on a spring attached to a cart on a ramp.

Much like how I’ve forgotten how the ions flow in batteries, we can all forget the fundamentals of staying well. We often make intentional choices to abandon what we know is best, like pulling an all-nighter instead of sleeping. Over time, these choices become habits, and the “right” answers get swept under the rug. Yes, our routine works, but only as well as guessing on a multiple choice exam works, getting us near where we need to be, but not as efficiently.

If you have a chance, stop right now and get out a sheet of paper. Make four lists: studying, eating, sleeping and sex. Sounds like the life of a stereotypical college student, doesn’t it? Under each column write five points you think are fundamental to staying well in that category, like “getting eight hours,” under sleep or “reviewing class notes every day,” under studying. Then ask yourself: How many of these am I actually following? My hope is all of them – my guess is not as many.

Hopefully this exercise reminds you of tips this column has given you throughout the year. Wellness is a choice we make, whether in the way we choose to speak about our self-image, the way we consume goods or how we exercise our powerful bodies and minds. We should then choose to work these fundamental lessons into our daily routines and attitudes on how we approach healthiness. This is a crash-refresher course.

I asked for five things under those categories. Maybe you were able to name more than five, maybe you fell right on the money or maybe you were completely lost. Regardless, it might not be a bad idea to revisit the categories again to make sure you’re on track for them all. Lucky for you, the Wellness Center has a “Health and Wellness Week” March 9-15 with events on all of those subjects and more. Here are some highlights for you:

“Get Smart Quick! Revisiting Basic Study Skills” on March 10, 8:30-9:30 p.m. in Tomson Hall 210.

“Let’s Talk About Safer Sex” on March 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Trollhaugen.

“Catching Zs” on March 13, 7-8 p.m. in Regents Hall 410.

“Eating Healthy on a Budget” on March 13, 8:30-9:30 p.m. in Regents Hall 150.

I know that I would be lost without my daily time spent reviewing for the MCAT, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to study wellness too. After all, that’s going to do me better in the long run.

Just as a reminder, the Wellness Center is located in Buntrock Commons 112. It is open during chapel and community time and from 2-8 p.m. every weekday. Stop by to get resources on all things wellness: Grab some sexual protections, talk to a peer educator one-on-one or just ask that one embarrassing question you’re too afraid to ask anyone else. The Wellness Center is there as a resource for you!


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