During my time at UMass Amherst I have lived a very healthy lifestyle. The only freshman 15 I gained was from muscle because UMass Amherst gave me access to good food and a great gym. There is definitely a healthy aura around the campus in the sense that students are given the positive resources through food and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Personally, my favorite dining hall is Hampshire Dining Hall in Southwest Residential Area where I roll sushi. UMass Dining creates many jobs for students. Additionally, we have a great rec center that is accessible to all undergraduate students. Students are also welcome to work at the rec center as workout instructors or front desk associates.
The food at the dining halls is exceptional; not only does it taste good, but it’s made with organic ingredients. Furthermore, dining halls such as Hampshire Dining Hall make it a point to serve many vegetables to students. As much produce as possible is locally sourced from the farms in nearby Hadley. We have extensive Asian and Latin sections as well as the chef’s table that changes it’s menu everyday. One of my favorite stations in the dining hall is the pho station. In Massachusetts the winters can get very cold, so there’s nothing better than some warm pho, which is essentially like ramen, made perfectly in the dining hall. One of my favorite parts of UMass dining is Grab & Go. It’s very convenient for when you’re on the go and don’t have time to sit at the dining hall. There are always many healthy options. Sometimes parents and students are concerned that their students won’t be well fed at school. There is a stereotype of the college student who lives off Cup of Noodles and vending machine food, but that’s not how UMass Amherst is. Our students are well-fed and prepared to face their classes.
Additionally, all undergraduate students have access to our recreational center. I don’t play on a sports team so I don’t have a mandated workout regiment, however, the rec center allows me to stay active on my own time. All students have access to the gym and also numerous workout classes and workshops. Examples of our workout classes include spin, cardio kickboxing, zumba, and TRX workshops. There is even a nutrition advisor in the recreational center. Furthermore, the rec center has implemented student workers who are strength and conditioning coaches. Having students teach workout classes and assist other students at the gym is a great system, which provides opportunities for students who are interested in working out. It’s also a great resume booster.
I spend a lot of time doing schoolwork and keeping up with my clubs, activities, and jobs, but UMass gives me the resources to take a step back from all of that and focus on my health. These are resources that make me functional college student and allows me to stay on the right track even when I’m not constantly supervised by adults.