WELLU: The Freshman Fifteen

by Charlotte Noble on May 2, 2016

We all know the story of the Freshman Fifteen. The studly young high school grads leave for school, and by the time they return home for winter break, a 15 pound spare tire has appeared from stressful nights, pizza parties and full access to buffet style meals every. single. day. This urban legend has tiptoed around campuses for decades, but is such a thing avoidable here at Lawrence, or does it even exist? I, self-proclaimed investigative reporter of all things yummy, healthy, lazy and active, plan to find out.

First of all, no, the freshman fifteen doesn’t magically appear on your body the moment after you hug your parents good bye at orientation. I’ve found that college is a major lifestyle change, and like all new things in life, it can affect your mind and body. Personally, in the year and a half I’ve been at college, I’ve watched friends, and even myself ride different trains of weight, gaining muscle, losing fat, and the other way around. It’s very easy to fluctuate 15 pounds: up or down. And like we all know, it’s not what the scale says that’s important, but rather being healthy overall. So in that line of thought, here are some ways to stay healthy at LU.

HIT THE WELLNESS CENTER!

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Here on campus we have the wonderful Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center. In the Wellness Center, students have complete access to a cardio room, weight room, full gymnasium, indoor track, free weights, multi-purpose room, racquetball courts, Olympic sized swimming pool, mats, medicine balls; it has the works. If you arrive there around 7:15 any given weekday morning, you’ll find a slightly sleepy college sophomore clad in sweats walking down the stairs to begin her workout: spoiler alert, it’s me. As someone who considers themselves a lover (and sometimes a hater, cause leg day, am I right?) of working out, I love the Wellness Center. Most students take advantage of its facilities weekly, if not daily. I find it to suit almost all exercise related needs, and would recommend taking advantage of it to anyone trying to stay healthy.

JOIN A SPORT (OR INTRAMURAL)

Although Lawrence is a school full of academics, let’s be honest, nerds; we still have 22 varsity sports. For these varsity sports, students try out, get placed in the team, train together, and develop some great friendships. But if you’re anything like me, and can’t be trusted with a ball, stick, paddle, fencing sword, etc, look to intramurals. Anyone with a few friends and a love of the game can jump in on one of our many low commitment, high fun, sports. While I’ve never taken advantage of this myself, many students use sports to keep their health on track (pun intended).

GET A WORKOUT BUDDY

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Here’s mine, he doesn’t say much, but he’s the only other person willing to be at the gym at 7am everyday. But all jokes aside, having a friend to join you is one of the best ways to keep yourself honest about your fitness. Being the bright kids we are here at LU, most students are health conscious, and it’s not hard to find someone who wants to join you in some healthy activities. Students also have the option to work with trainers at the Wellness Center, which can be either other students, or an employee of the school.

TAKE A CLASS

TGFY: Thank God for Yoga. Lawrence offers some classes during the week for wellness, including yoga, dance based classes, self-defense classes, etc. These are always changing, but also always posted online and around campus.

EAT WELL BE WELL

Of course, it’s not all about what you do with your body, but what you put in too. It’s easy to eat poorly at college. Ask the big bowl of ice cream I had with dinner a couple nights ago or the French toast served in Andrew Commons this morning. However, it is also easy to eat well here at LU. Thanks to Bon Appetit, our meal provider, there are plenty of interesting, healthy options available in Andrew Commons, and the other places to get food on campus. This, of course, requires plenty of self control, but salads, fruit, veggies, vegan and vegetarian options are always available.

So overall, while like in all stages of life, being healthy at college is 100% up to the person. Dorm snacks, calorie filled drinks, and stressed-induced cheeto binges will always be available, but, at least here at LU, there’s always the option to get in your run, eat a salad, play a game of soccer, and stay healthy no matter what 15 pounds you gain or lose.

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On May, Maritime Adventures, and Being Wrong

by Breanna Wydra on May 1, 2016

It’s May Day today, which means that candy is blooming around campus and the sidewalk chalk is a little friskier than usual. The holiday itself has roots in the Celtic celebration of Beltane, which honors the point half way between the spring equinox and the summer solstice and is associated with optimism, growth, and new beginnings.

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Hooray, hooray!  It’s the 1st of May!

Well, now that we’ve plowed our way through that nice little introduction I’d like to subtly transition into my own thoughts on growth and new beginnings. It’s been about 5 months since I got back from my study abroad program with SEA Semester and I’m finally able to reflect on it. The program took me and a handful of other students from Barcelona to the Canary Islands on a tall ship, where along the way we learned how to sail, to be a leader at sea, to conduct oceanographic research, and to shower during rough waters without cracking our skulls open.

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Clearly working hard.

I am a very different person from who I was when I first set foot on the deck of the SSV Corwith Cramer, partly because that person 1) had not yet thrown up into the ocean, 2) couldn’t tie bows on birthday presents yet alone tie a bowline knot, and 3) was really really scared of being wrong.

I’m sure we can all agree that being wrong sucks. It can be embarrassing, it can hurt your self esteem, it can shake the confidence you have in your abilities and in yourself. I was the person who didn’t want to answer a question in class in case it wasn’t the right one, who got defensive about criticism even if I recognized my own mistake, and who generally just took being wrong very personally. Here’s a tip: don’t do that. It’s not good for you.

My time abroad taught me that it’s okay if you have no idea what’s going on. That if you speak up and ask questions, you’ll know for the next time instead of having to pretend. That not knowing something or saying the wrong answer doesn’t make you stupid or inept or worth any less than others around you. It’s ridiculously hard to separate yourself from this, I know, and it’s something that I’m still working on. But in my life as a student and as a scientist – and in everyone’s lives as human beings – it’s just such a huge weight off the shoulders to accept being wrong and learn from it.

So, I guess a goal for myself to keep up with and a piece of advice to others is to learn to be okay with mistakes. Ask your professor about that difficult concept one more time even if you think the rest of the class understands, and ask your friend how to work the knobs on their shower before you get in and try to wing it. It’ll work out better in the long run.

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Modern Family

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