UVU Outside Journey Heart: discovering wellness in getting out

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Students are slowly pushing back into the semester, and when classes replace pool parties, it’s easy to get stuck indoors and watch homework pile up on desks.

“Mental health problems are very common among college students,” say Dr. Paolo Pedrelli, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and others in their publication citing Dr. Carlos Blanco. College challenges can include being away from family, taking on onerous academic duties, and planning for a life outside of school. . . [correspond] at a challenging time for many traditional and non-traditional students.”

Fortunately, there are natural ways for students to relieve stress.

In a study conducted by Linda L. Caldwell, the results of Anne Passmore and Davina French found that “ . . . performance-oriented and social leisure significantly predicted positive mental health.” The UVU Outdoor Adventure Center contributes to this. By providing resources and sponsoring events that help students get out of their heads, out of their books, and out into nature, they provide access to meaningful recreational activities that can provide struggling students with a healthy balance for their negative emotions.

“I definitely think so [getting outside] has an enormous impact [on mental health], and that’s why we’re really promoting the outdoor recreation center,” said Trevor Carter, program director for the wellness program. “Getting out there, getting some vitamin D, but being active in general can release all of those feelings. . . and help us to ground.”

To this end, the OAC has a wide range of outdoor equipment that can be easily rented to students, which can be found in person at the center or on their website. Available rentals include accessories for biking, camping, rock climbing, hiking, and water and winter sports.

The OAC also hosts guided outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and meditation. For more information on rentals or current sponsored activities, students are encouraged to inquire with the OAC at SL 216 or visit their website.

The Outdoor Adventure Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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