I argue the importance of making health courses mandatory in college.
|Imagine yourself in a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now. What do you want your future to look like? In what ways can you prepare now to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Think of all the opportunities you could have if you’re physically and mentally strong. One’s actions reflects one’s future.
I have invested in all aspects of my health as a dance major at Arizona State University. I remember this time specifically. It was exam week. I was stressed out, overwhelmed, and fatigued. “I can’t do this anymore.” This was a statement I used multiple times during exam week. It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was headed to my yoga class. I did not want to go; my motivation was low and my anxiety was at its peak. As I started stretching and moving my body to the sensational music being played in the background, I noticed a weight lifting off of my shoulder. I didn’t feel as stressed and my mind was clearing up. I began to feel relaxed and calm. This moment is when I realized the impact movement classes had on my ability to think, speak, and act effectively.
Health is the number one aspect in a human’s life. I am not talking about the physical, but the mental and emotional side as well. Growing up as an athlete has taught me many things about my body and my emotional state. Being invested in my health, as mentioned in my own experience, allowed me to learn and grow effectively. I believe that a health course should be mandatory for all college students, so they can experience what I have: focus, physical strength, and a positive state of mind. All of these advantages can result in a successful college experience. Being a dance major has many health benefits because I am moving every day and I take courses to focus on my body’s needs. It is proven that movement correlates with happiness and increased concentration levels. I have experienced this myself. My engagement in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle increased from courses that teach me how to properly fuel myself and do what is best for my well-being. My grades and test scores improved, and I feel more present in lectures. I can concentrate on what is discussed in my classes, and I fully understand the content that is being portrayed because my mind and body are able to function properly.
Being physically active has also made me look and feel strong. I can lift more, get where I need to be faster, and remain energized throughout the course of my day. I perform better in everything I do. In my required movement courses, I am taught how being physically active benefits a human’s organs, muscles, and bones. College classes involve lots of sitting, so movement is strongly encouraged. I was told by my doctor that 30 minutes of physical activity or exercise is required each day. College is a very stressful time. In terms of my emotional state, moving around each day has released any stress and anxiety that comes my way. It has significantly impacted me as a student and person. With a health course mandatory for college students, they will be forced to invest in their own health and obtain a better learning outcome.
My experience as a dance major can be compared to mandatory health or physical education classes performed in elementary and high schools. In most schools around the country, these classes are encouraged by administrators. There is a reason these classes are mandatory, so why is the curriculum in college different? College students are just as stressed-if not more-than any other student, so it’s important to know how to take care of oneself properly. Dancing is a stress releaser and any type of movement or mindful practice can benefit one physically, mentally, and emotionally. Also, students that participate in physical activity, sports, or sports clubs are known to be more involved, engaged, and collaborative; these are life skills that result in one’s future successes. Just as in primary and secondary education systems, there are a variety of activities to choose from to serve one’s interest. College health courses are beneficial to an individual and the community that surrounds one.
Some may argue that health courses should not be mandatory because there is not enough time, students should have a choice on what classes to take, and classes can be expensive. While some may argue this, it is important that they realize the numerous benefits of investing in a healthy life. First of all, time management is a key life skill, and it is important for college students to be able to handle many responsibilities at once. However, prioritizing those responsibilities are just as important. Secondly, the student would have a choice on what type of movement class to take. From Pilates, to yoga, to a particular sport, they could potentially find their passion in it. One of my required classes was yoga, in which I previously discussed, and I did not think it was going to be worth my time, but I ended up finding a passion for it, and I practice every day. It helps me maintain my balance and strength as a dancer. This is just one example of how one can find passion and self-awareness when being forced to take a course and remaining uncomfortable. It would be an advantage for college students due to the fact that most are focused on discovering their passion for the future. Third, additional classes may be expensive, but so are the consequences that evolve when one’s health declines. Money would be spent in a productive way. With health being the most important factor in a human’s life, it needs to be promoted as the number one priority. Mandatory health courses are the way to go so one is healthy and happy-the most important things in life.