Healthy living at the University of Nottingham is not something that is particularly hard to do. If you live in the residence halls like I do, you will find yourself having a love-hate relationship with the colossal “Hills” of Nottingham Uni. Although it is always a sweet and comforting idea to just stay in bed instead of going to your 9am lecture – this is always a topic of discussion during breakfast – what better way to start the day than by literally tackling a hill first thing in the morning? Sounds like a great allegory, and yet it’s completely possible.
The semester has progressed, and many of us have found ourselves looking over assignment deadlines and getting a head start on them; spending our time at the study bar and at the university’s libraries. This also, however, entails that we are sitting down for long periods of time typing, researching, and revising. As students, its easy to find ourselves contemplating the idea of ordering a pizza at midnight, or constantly thinking about food – several times, my friends and I could be having supper, and we begin to talk about whether we should order food after. Sound familiar? Well, we’ve all been there and with summer around the corner in the United Kingdom the idea of going through yet ANOTHER Freshman 15 is more than terrifying.
The weather however, has made it ideal to spend an increasing amount of time outdoors. From having lunch with the friends around the many picnic tables on campus, taking a run by the lakeside, or even walking around the city centre at night, feeling that cool spring breeze; there are literally countless amounts of things we can, and have done!
The university has excellent facilities for the students to make use of. Like a state of the art athletic centre equipped with everything from swimming pools, courts and even a rock climbing walls. If Students wish to opt out of buying a gym membership, they can still use many of the active trails that are located around campus. I first saw this idea back in Chile almost 5 years ago, in neighbourhoods – the main idea of this is to promote active-living locally, even if people may not have the methods to pay for a gym membership.
Healthy living and well-being in all forms, from eating healthier, exercising daily, and taking the time to mediate and reflect on the weeks past events is fundamental for academics and our personal development. This is one thing, that I took very seriously back in my high school days, but somehow had wiped it from my memory once I got into Uni. Yet, I find myself wondering if its because I got caught up in the stresses of adulthood? Working, studying, extra-curriculars, socializing and of course, paying rent. Balancing all of this becomes very difficult at times. Living in a busy city like Toronto, its easy to get caught up in the hustle, but when do we stop and take time to experience the beauty around us?
It’s a question that plays on my mind like a song on repeat. It has certainly helped me grow into the woman I am today through several experiences in the past two years of my degree. But I have found that being on exchange gives you the opportunity to “re-boot” your system, and value everything around you, and what you’ve left back home. I find myself looking forward to being back in the buzzing city of Toronto, and experience everything that student life at U of T has to offer; which is something that I didn’t see myself saying if you had asked me a few months back.