It’s March 12th – what better time to evaluate those New Year’s Resolutions? Ask anyone who knows me well, and they’ll tell you that one of my signature phrases is: “Starting tomorrow, I’m going to be a new person!” Since the turn of
2014 2015 2016, I’ve told myself that I’m going to start getting enough sleep, start exercising regularly, and, most importantly, stop procrastinating. Although all that hasn’t really happened yet (I still have hope!), luckily WashU offers a bunch of different resources to help you be the best you you can be.
1) Learn Something New
Sure, Biology is like, super cool… but so is glassblowing. Besides the classes that you’d consider typical college courses, WashU offers a myriad of unique courses like glassblowing through the University College (often referred to as simply, UCollege), the division for adult, evening, and professional studies in Arts & Sciences. These classes do charge an extra tuition, but every student registered in the College of Arts & Sciences can enroll in one UCollege course for free per semester! I have friends who have taken a Tango class through UCollege, and other classes include everything from biochemistry to public speaking to photojournalism to pilates. Other departments may also offer classes geared to those who’ve always wanted to try something new – I myself am taking a 1 credit introductory piano class through the Music department and absolutely love it!
Beyond classes, WashU boasts over 300 student groups that you could join to also learn something a bit different than you might in lecture. For example, there’s a sailing team, a butter churning club, and a knitting group called String Theory – you can peruse the exhaustive list here: http://su.wustl.edu/su-group-directory/.
2) Exercise More
Besides being in the throes of midterm season, there’s really no excuse to not begin (or continue, I guess) exercising regularly on campus … I say as I’m typing two floors above the South 40 Fitness Center that I’ve only visited once this semester to pick up my phone charger that a friend borrowed.
The South 40 Fitness Center, access to which is free for all students, is located on the second floor of SoFoHo and boasts a wide variety of cardio machines and workout spaces with hours from 7am to 12am on most days. In addition, the Athletics Complex is open to all students and includes access to a pool, weight room, gym, and even racquet courts. I also can’t forget to mention the 40+ Sports Clubs offered at WashU, and the opportunity to participate in one of 25 intramural sports leagues. On top of all of the above, you can even sign up for personal training and other fitness classes such as cycling, yoga, Pilates, and Zumba.
WashU is a pretty health conscious community – there’s an app available to see the nutrition facts for everything served at the dining areas, and MyPlate and Connie’s Choice are two initiatives that promote nutrition on campus. Residential Colleges might also host events to promote nutrition – just this week my rescollege, RUSoFo, hosted “RUSoFitness Week” which included an opportunity to attend a night of yoga with our Faculty Associate, and an Instagram competition for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.
3) Jump Start Your Career
One of my favorite things about WashU is just how accessible professional development is as an undergraduate. The Career Center, for example, assists in preparing and searching for internships and beyond. You can get help with writing a resume and cover letter, conduct a mock interview, develop a LinkedIn page, or even just ask a quick question during walk-in hours. Career advisors are available for every division and practically every industry you could imagine. Additionally, CAREERlink boasts literally thousands of internship and job opportunities available to apply to online.
If a career in research is more your style, WashU makes it incredibly easy to get involved with any kind of research as soon as you step on campus! Research opportunities are available through all divisions and in many departments, ranging from Biomedical Engineering to Entrepreneurial Studies. I have a friend now, a sophomore, who assists in a neuroscience lab studying the chemosensory functions of DEG/ENaC channels in Drosophila. A host of faculty mentors are always super accessible, and you may even find that research opportunities present themselves in your own classes! For example, one of my favorite things about Psychology classes here is that you can get class credit for participating in research, and often times when you’re finished with your session, you’ll be given an experiment debrief explaining more about what was being studied and how/why, and who to contact for more information if you’re interested. I encourage you to explore more at http://undergradresearch.wustl.edu/!
No matter what you decide to do, you absolutely can’t go wrong at WashU career-wise. Here’s what Deloitte already thinks about WashU students: “The full package: This is why we appreciate WUSTL students – they are smart, analytically sound, great problem solvers… and genuinely nice people.”
4) Get More Sleep
There is not one person I know in the world, let alone WashU, who can truthfully say, “I feel well rested every, single day.” Thankfully, WashU does a good job of doing all it can to provide us with that comfortable feeling you get after eating a nice warm helping of macaroni and cheese, 24/7 (but actually, the mac and cheese comfort meal that appears at Cherry Tree is insane). There’s a reason we’re ranked #1 for campus dorms (http://www.businessinsider.com/colleges-with-the-best-dorms-2015-10) … because we get to fall asleep on Tempurpedic mattresses every night. And I thank my lucky stars every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9am that the Circ bus exists to make the usual 15-minute walk to Crow from the 40 only about 4 minutes – which allows me to feel a little less guilty about hitting the snooze button.
If it’s homework that’s keeping you awake, there are tons of resources to get extra help. Besides office hours and the usual help sessions, Cornerstone on the South 40 offers walk-in hours and dedicated RPMs (Residential Peer Mentors) for subjects like writing, chemistry, calculus, and the like. Cornerstone also offers regular workshops and individual consultations on general skills such as active reading, note-taking, test taking strategies, and time management.
Lastly, I guess you could always contact the Washington University Sleep Medicine Center to conduct an all-night sleep study if you wanted.
WashU Fun Fact #5: Scheduled to open in August, the Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center will add more than 60,000 square feet to the Washington University Athletics Complex on Danforth Campus.