Editorial: A healthier campus starts with a healthier attitude



Editorial Board

We’re sick of the freshman 15 stereotype. We’re sick of the stigma that dorm rooms are full of pizza boxes, empty chip bags and towers of pop cans. We’re sick of having to wait in the coffee line for 10 minutes because half of campus needs an IV of caffeine in order to function. 

Basically, we’re sick of college students thinking it’s “OK” to be unhealthy, thinking it’s the time in our lives that we can handle the damage to our young bodies and mental states. 

While healthy living campaigns and better food choices are a desirable step in the right direction, it all comes down to culture.

The culture students and other age groups have created say that it’s acceptable for college students to endure the intense stresses that cause study sessions that roll deep into the night, giving opportunity for unhealthy midnight snacks and a lack of sleep.

The culture that encourages a weekend routine to liver damage and a greasy snack to end every Friday night. 

The kind of culture that laughs with laziness but at the same time forces excessive sitting to finish hours of homework. 

A culture shift starts with a conversation.

We want to start a conversation about a healthier campus. 

ISU Dining does an excellent job of offering the food pyramid and even started the #healthyselfie to encourage healthier student habits. 

But let’s be real.

Students will always go for the taunting onion rings, the rich ice cream and the hot pizza. The goal of sleeping eight hours every night is hardly attainable. And sometimes the gym just isn’t the top priority either.

So how can we make a healthier campus? Is it on the students? Is it on administration? What about professors’ expectations of students? Do we partner together? 

We propose small changes to encourage a healthier campus. 

Food in vending machines is hardly known for being healthy. While we recognize vending machines’ limitations in storing healthy food, there are healthier alternatives to Cheetos and soda, such as string cheese, nuts, flavored water, dried fruit, dry cereal and whole grain popcorn. 

Sleep is highly sought after, but after a full schedule, membership in numerous campus organizations and attempting to have a social life, maintaining a somewhat decent sleeping routine can prove difficult. 

Studies even show young people’s minds aren’t fully functioning until after 8 a.m. because the sleep inducing hormone melatonin is still being introduced into the system at that hour. 

How can students be expected to achieve a decent GPA, round out a résumé with campus activities, go to the gym, make time for leisure and get to bed before midnight and act fully awake at an 8 a.m. class? 

Excessive amounts of homework from multiple classes encourages lengthy sitting sessions, but how many students know about the trek desks located throughout campus? 

Living in close quarters spreads germs like wildfire. 

And missing class because of illness puts you behind in classwork and participation points, adding stress and possibly making you even more sick. 

The attitude that our vibrant, invincible, youthful bodies are not vulnerable will undoubtedly affect our not so youthful bodies a decade or two down the road.

So the change in our attitudes now could be the change that shapes your future body.