Wellfest Encourages Students to Make Healthy Changes

By Frances Clause

Youngstown State University students learned about different aspects of health during the Wellfest, a free interactive health fair at the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Oct. 23.

Sponsored by YSU’s junior nursing majors, the Wellfest provided health information through creative posters, tips, giveaways and handouts. All nine pillars of wellness were presented at the event.

According to the Department of Campus Recreation at YSU, these nine pillars were implemented to guide those who aim to improve their physical, emotional, spiritual, social, career, financial, intellectual, aesthetic and environmental wellness.

Megan Schlett, a junior exercise science and pre-physical therapy major, said there are many services at YSU’s recreation center students can utilize to prevent unhealthy habits from forming throughout the semester.

“[The recreation center] offers a dietitian, and students can stop by to get free counseling there and kick bad eating habits,” she said. “Personal trainers are also offered, and along with exercise, the trainers show students what to do outside of their personal training sessions.”

Schlett said the Adulting 101 sessions at the rec benefit students by offering tips on how to maintain their health, with categories such as healthy meal preparation, budgeting and hooking up in college.

“It’s really hard because students are trying to prioritize their time, but coming to these events or the track at the rec to walk can really help battle stress,” she said. “Even just taking 30 minutes out of the day for these things is a great way to start being healthier.”

Antonia Ladd, a junior nursing major, said physical activity can only make a small difference if one is not getting the proper nutrition.

“When students have good nutrition, their immune system will be up, preventing infections and sickness people tend to get at this time of year,” she said. “This is important because class attendance is key to doing well in a course.”

Ladd said although it is easy to choose places like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A for cheap fast food, avoiding those places as much as possible is in a student’s best interest.

Photo by Frances Clause/The Jambar

“Choosing healthier options will help with feeling less tired and sluggish as [students] work on studying for midterms and other exams,” she said. “Bad food choices can also contribute to more stress which is not needed, especially since most students are stressed already with other things college and life-related.”

Kortney Squibbs, a junior nursing major, said students working on their physical health should work just as hard on improving their mental health.

“Students’ mental health is affected a lot because of the stress of midterms and seasonal depression around this time of year,” she said. “Studies show college-aged students have the highest percentage of serious thoughts of suicide.”

According to the American College Health Association, suicide is the second most common cause of death among college students.

Squibbs said if a student feels like their life is becoming unmanageable, YSU’s counseling services offer resources and help clients achieve positive change.

“The most important thing students need to remember is it is not a bad or embarrassing thing to go and seek help,” she said.

For more fitness, health and wellness information, YSU students can stop at the Wellness Resource Center Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m to 10:30 p.m.