As the new year and the new semester begin, college students armed with new year’s resolutions hit the gym. Students begin their quest toward a healthier and more beautiful physique. It is no wonder that the SLC is filled in what seems to be a space too small to contain its students.
The stampede of adrenaline-filled students peaks between 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. when professors and students finish class. However, the migration of students is short-lived. It lasts approximately two weeks into each semester, while syllabi are being introduced, homework is at a minimum and tests are not a concern. However, when the course load is heavier and more time consuming students will give up exercising.
As someone who goes to the gym several days a week, I have found that during “stampede” season there is not an open machine to be had. Students have to wait in long lines to use the machine of their choice, or even settle for their second or third choice after a long wait. I have observed that this is an ongoing trend for the past two years at Baylor.
Many people make health-oriented resolutions, but it is only a few who see them through. It takes persistence, dedication and determination in order to achieve the goal of a healthier physique.
I am optimistic in the numbers of students I see embarking on this very important journey to a healthier body. However, it is frustrating to see the number of people coming to the gym dwindle. After two weeks, school gets busier, life gets crazier and people let themselves go. In order to maintain physical activity in their life one must make it a priority and add as something they must do to their planner.
Another reason the SLC fills up in the beginning of the spring semester is the offer of a trial period for Baylor’s exercise classes. The classes are offered for free at the beginning of the semester to entice and promote health and involvement. However, once these classes become an additional expense, the traffic slows greatly. I believe in order to keep retention rates at the gym high there needs to be some change at SLC. During these first few weeks it is evident that the gym needs to be bigger in order to comfortably fit all students. In doing this people will want to go to the gym because there will be enough space to accommodate everyone. Programs that promote fitness and stress its importance should be shared to the student body.
I would encourage people who only go to the gym for those first two weeks to try to continue on their fitness path. People tend to remove exercise from their priority list when life gets busy, even though it is proven that physical activity can have positive effects on other parts of your life. It is important to remember that goals are only met when they are given the time and dedication they deserve.