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!