Stay Healthy, Stay Sane

I'm not going to lie: the students on the St. George campus are a crazy bunch. They stay overnight working on assignments at Robarts, go work out at 11 at night, wake up before the sun comes up, buy enough food from hot dog vendors and Chinese food trucks to keep these greasy food sources in business, dump Red Bull into their systems as if it was water, and yet, despite all this, they still manage to stay on the competitive edge. Until about a week ago, I used to be like this. Going to bed at 3 a.m. was early for me, and somehow I was convinced that with the help of some strong coffee, I could run on an average of 4 hours of sleep a night with no problem. And then, something unexpected happened: I got tired of life. It was the most extreme level of burnout I had yet to experience, and on some level, I was so tired that I wasn't even thinking about the repercussions of my unhealthy lifestyle anymore. My mother always tells me over the phone: "Eat fruits, drink lots of water, go to bed before 12, and STAY HEALTHY!" Of course, like any daughter who's too sure of herself for her own good, I never listened to her--until now. As I type this post, I'm currently consuming oranges and kiwi by extraordinary quantities, with the desperate hope that the vitamin C boost will beat out my incoming cold and thus prevent my already hectic life from snowballing out of control. This past Friday, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the Healthy U Crew, as a part of the Creating A Healthy Campus initiative hosted by Health Promotion Programs on the St. George campus. By being forced to sit down and talk about my views on what makes St. George a "healthy" campus, I was suddenly much more aware of just how unhealthy our lifestyles can be. Suddenly it becomes so ironic that my peers--many of whom will become our future health care professionals--are burning their bodies to the max by subjecting themselves daily to such intense stress. So much of this stress comes from the mindset that failing to reach a goal we are working so hard toward will inevitably lead to the end of the world. To be honest, in reality this is rarely the case, and there is indeed "always a way out". Not just a shortcut, mind you, but another direct and much sunnier path to follow. Upon further exploration the U of T Health Services website, I managed to find a great deal of information on how to be healthy! There's actually a "Student Body, Mind and Spirit" newsletter that contains a great deal of helpful information, from learning to come out of the closet, to an examination of the correlation between the frequency of colds and our level of sociability. When you do take a short break from studying, take a look at the site! Sometimes, as students of such a big campus, we become overwhelmed with the constant wave of information being thrown in our direction, and, as a result, we just simply stop being receptive to all of it. It's unfortunate, because as overbearing as this information can be, it is good stuff. During my interview, I was asked three main questions: 1. What does a healthy campus mean to you? 2. Name one thing that, in your opinion, already contributes to a healthy campus at U of T. 3. Name one thing that, in your opinion, will make St. George a healthier campus. Try answering these questions! Let me know what you think, and leave a comment in the area below! Stay healthy, young things! Lucy

2 comments on “Stay Healthy, Stay Sane

  1. Oooh! This! They were at Sid Smith on Wednesday! I filled out that interview form.

    4 hours of sleep just doesn’t cut it. I’ve decided since the beginning of this semester that I will commit to an 8 hour sleep schedule. It’s ridiculously hard, and I failed on some days, but overall, I’ve gotten more sleep, and I just feel so much better. Speaking of which, I need to get to bed!

  2. 1. What does a healthy campus mean to you?

    A healthy campus, to me, means one that is designed with student lifestyle in mind, and a strong effort to promote good health into that lifestyle. For example, considering that students are always on the go, making sure that veggie sandwiches are just as easily accessible as pizza means that students buying lunches can make a smart choice. And, both options should look equally attractive – it should be pizza seating in a nice heated area while soggy sandwiches sag in the fridge.

    2. Name one thing that, in your opinion, already contributes to a healthy campus at U of T.

    Well, we’ve got fabulous athletic centers, which students can enjoy as part of their tuition needs. In addition, I have seen some real developments in the food services at U of T – notable revamping of Sidney Smith, and seeing more healthy options available.

    3. Name one thing that, in your opinion, will make St. George a healthier campus.

    Sometimes, something as simple as not scheduling classes too early or too late can make a difference in students’ sleep. For example, if my class ends at 9pm, as a commuter, I get home at 11. Then having class at 10 the next day might not work out very well to promote sleep.

    In addition, the campus needs to find a way to make healthier food within a similar price range as the processed food. I know its difficult, but many students get deterred from buying something healthy because it too expensive, or whatever is cheap isn’t filling enough.

    Despite this, I would say St.George is a healthy campus. Plus, we do so much walking, we really can burn a few pounds!

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