Each year after New Year’s Eve college students seem to flock to the gym. The elliptical machines suddenly feel overcrowded and the aerobic classes find a fresh pair of tennis shoes hitting the wooden floors. Not only do gym memberships spike, but the ads on television for weigh loss products are at all-time high, with various men and women encouraging all to buy their product and look great. Though New Year’s resolutions can be superficial I hoped to discover that perhaps MUW’s students sought to do more than just change their body images.
Personally I vowed this year would be the year I finally became healthy. After being diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol at 18, I’d never taken these conditions seriously. Though my desire to eat healthier and work out regularly will certainly change my physical appearance, my desire certainly stemmed from a much deeper place than simply wanting a hot beach body. My search throughout the campus of MUW proved to me that many students are doing just the same.
Many students wanted to accomplish weight loss goals, but some, like the one I interviewed hoped to beat a regular college occurrence and better herself.
Bayleigh Herron, a Freshman Physical Science major from Biloxi, MS hopes not to fall into the “Freshman 15” category by keeping any extra pounds off her first year of college.
“My New Year’s resolution is to combat the freshmen 15 and to kill my Taco Bell addiction. It will show all those who believe in the freshman 15 that it can be inaccurate, and it will also help me get more comfortable with my body,” Herron says.
Herron adds, “Also, it will make my addiction to the skinny jean and yoga pant epidemic a bit more palatable for those who see me around town.”
Christopher Lucas, a Freshman Physical Therapy major from Saucier, MS, is another young freshman who will beat the freshman 15 with his resolve to stay in shape and learn new physical activities this year.
“My resolution is to complete P90x and to learn to scuba dive,” Lucas says.
Indeed, from the interviews conducted and the numbers at the Rec Center, it is apparent that many students on MUW’s campus hope to achieve physical weight loss and lead healthier lifestyles. However, there are some students whose aims are for much more.
Some like Braxton Maclean, a Freshman Communication major from West Point, MS hope to experience a more powerful and spiritual journey in the new year.
“I’m hoping to grow closer to God this semester and to better fulfill his mission on Earth,” Maclean says.
While all of these goals are certainly admirable, and I certainly hope to achieve mine, it can be extremely tough to stick to goals. A busy schedule can make students forget their goals and slowly let them fall to the wayside. However, to hear success stories of resolutions achieved can help each of us to continue working toward the goal.
Julianna Persons, a Junior Speech Language Pathology major from Macon, MS inspires all students with the goals she achieved and has kept since 2009.
“In 2009 I resolved not to drink soft drinks because I was drinking several a day. I knew it was unhealthy and ultimately it would make me feel better throughout the day if I wasn’t drug down by sugar and caffeine. So since Jan 1, 2009 I have been caffeine and carbonation free. I drink only milk, water, and orange juice,” Persons says.
Having met this goal she is not only an inspiration to anyone who has set a resolution, but she also leads a much happier life because of it.
“It has been a positive change for me, and I plan to continue to keep that resolution,” she says.
Perhaps this year each student at MUW who has made a goal can continue to work toward it and by Dec 31, 2013 achieve it, so that 2014 may bring a new year full of new changes and growth.