By Ian Frantz
Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Youngstown State University is slowly losing student attendance at a rate that parallels New Year’s resolution statistics.
Since the beginning of the semester, YSU’s rec center staff have been encouraging students to pick up good habits like working out, eating well and taking advantage of the facilities provided in the rec center.
Unfortunately, staff and students are seeing a drop-off in student activity, and the cause could be linked to a statistic showing the low rate of successful New Year’s resolutions.
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, only 73 percent of resolutions are maintained during the first week of the New Year and the percent drops to 58 percent after the first month.
Cody Brown, a senior exercise science major, noticed the change in activity.
“You see a lot of people here in the first couple weeks, but then it drops off after that,” Brown said.
Ryan McNicholas, assistant director of marketing, fitness and wellness programs, confirms this trend with students and calls it is a normal occurrence every spring semester.
McNicholas said that the YSU recreational facilities are utilized in the beginning, but as the semester goes on the change is noticeable.
“By February, there is a huge drop in attendance and by spring break there is a significant drop in students coming here,” McNicholas said.
McNicholas said that he and the staff are aware of the reasons that cause the dropped attendance and how they can address them.
“The big reasons for the drop-offs are time and stress and we have programs to address both,” he said.
The rec center plans to hold numerous tournaments and themed events throughout the semester at various times to allow students a chance to go to at least one event. Rec center personnel hope that their sporadic schedule can incentivize students into coming.
McNicholas said the rec center staff is working with Student Counseling Service to create a program to assist students in handling their stress.
Starting Jan. 25, the rec center is offering stress relief programs the last Thursday of each month through the end of the semester in their meditation room.
The Stress Relief Program is conducted by Ann Jaronski, director for student counseling services, to help students cope with stress through breathing exercises and the use of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is referred to as a state of awareness of the present moment and is used to help people locate source of stress in their life and where they carry their stress.
Jaronski said mindfulness is not a cure-all solution and finding a true solution for your troubles includes looking inward and setting more realistic goals.
“Most people set their goals too large to the point where they lose interest without smaller goals there to help lead them,” Jaronski said.
Students interested in the Stress Relief Program or any program provided by the rec center should contact McNicholas at [email protected] or call his office at 330-941-2207.