Opinion: College health education benefits everyone

The Sentinel

By: Robert Thomas

IMG_0011

“Health education is an essential component of general education for students, as well as a vital component in addressing America’s growing health problems.” Photo credit: Killian Grina

Health education is not only an essential component of general education for students at Kennesaw State but is also vital in addressing America’s growing health problems.

Outside of the benefits of positive health habits on the individual student level, there are numerous reasons to support the mandatory Foundations of Healthy Living, WELL 1000, course.

Alongside the physical benefits of habits taught in health classes, there is increasing evidence to suggest that the habits may also improve mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, research shows that exercise can help alleviate long-term depression and anxiety, and a 2017 study by the Minnesota Department of Health found that students who were physically fit were much more likely to score better on state standardized tests.

Additionally, considering the increased sexual activity of students, a quality sexual education, like that given in KSU health courses, is likely to be useful for students, especially among those coming from more sexually repressive households.

Julia Wagner, an apparel and textiles sophomore at KSU, said she feels that the goal setting and goal-oriented nature of the KSU health course is a very important thing for students to learn.

“In order to get anywhere in life, you gotta have goals for yourself,” Wagner said. “I think the class does a good job at teaching that.”

On the broader scale, however, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of childhood obesity have more than tripled since the 1970s. In light of this growing trend, proper health education is more important today than ever before. Studies have shown that parents are one of the main influences when it comes to shaping their children’s decisions in relation to healthy eating.

For many students, college may be their first introduction to healthier habits. If we ever hope to reverse the rising rates of obesity nationally, proper health and nutritional education is an important component of the fight.

Connor Crocco, a KSU business administration freshman, said that he supports required health classes because of their ability to benefit anyone regardless of their personal fitness level.

“The required health class is definitely beneficial, and I would definitely keep it just because of the benefits it gives people who need it most,” Crocco said. “But even if you are fit, you can still learn stuff. It teaches you a healthier lifestyle in general.”

The rising rate of obesity nationally impacts everyone due to the increased healthcare expenditures nationally. A 2018 study by Cornell University found that the percent of U.S. national medical expenditures devoted to treating obesity-related illness in adults has risen by 29 percent from 2001-2015.

By requiring students to take WELL 1000, KSU ensures students are prepared to take care of themselves and aid in battling national health problems.

 

Article originally published by The Sentinel

Opinion H2H: Take the fast road to success with summer classes

The Sentinel

By: Robert Thomas

Students should take advantage of summer classes to advance their career, save money and exercise their brains.

Graduating on-time, or early, can be a strong indicator to future employers that you are organized and have a solid work ethic. As fun as college can be, nobody wants to be the one that took an excessive number of years to complete a degree.

Although students might not opt to take classes every summer, summer classes can be an amazingly useful tool if they are looking to finish quicker.

Summer classes also condense the credit for an entire normal semester’s worth of work into six short weeks of dedicated work. For many, this may be a major benefit that is akin to ripping off the Band-Aid now, rather than slowly dragging out the pain over several months. Students should really treat their time as even more valuable than money.

Depending on your situation, summer classes can also save a tremendous amount of money that would otherwise be spent on another full semester of rent and living expenses. If you are staying at your own place, you are well aware of how rent and living expenses tend to be among your highest expenses. Instead of taking the slow road to success, summer classes let you save money for your future, or an epic travel destination once you graduate.

Everyone’s situation is different, but for KSU student Brandon Lee, a junior in exercise science major and a former Marine, it is much cheaper in the long run for him to take summer classes.

“I decided to take summer classes since I get the GI bill, which basically pays my rent for now while I’m in school and work part-time,” Lee said. “If I am not a full-time student, then I don’t get the full housing allowance.”

Besides all of the time and money that is saved, the cognitive benefits of taking summer classes should also be taken into account. Rather than letting your brain turn to mush over the summer, keep your mind sharp by taking a couple of classes. Since you’ll already be in the routine of hitting the books, there will be less of an initially reluctant phase when the fall semester starts.

In addition, taking one or two courses over the summer, as opposed to juggling four to six subjects in a normal semester, will allow students to better absorb the material and make the course much more enjoyable.

Class sizes also tend to be smaller, and, according to research from the National Education Association, students in smaller classes not only perform better when compared to their peers in larger classes but tend to score higher on standardized tests as well.

In the end, everyone has a different style that works best for them, but for many students, summer classes can be a major godsend for a variety of different reasons.

 

Article originally published by The Sentinel