The Chronicle’s View

By and

The common image of a college student is a person with bags under his or her eyes from an all night study session, an over stuffed backpack, a cup of coffee in one hand and a bag of chips from a vending machine in the other.

While many college students can probably relate to this stereotype, it’s hardly a healthy way to get by.

Students often have the mindset that they can push themselves mentally and physically?just as long as it gets them a degree in the end. They figure that if they pay their dues now, they can take care of themselves later on in life.

This may work for a while, but it will inevitably result in burnout. Mental or physical, an unhealthy lifestyle will take its toll on grades, work and even personal relationships.

Student groups at the University of Utah understand this concern and have joined with campus offices to create the Wellness Taskforce. This committee created Wellness Week, which culminated in the Wellness Fair on Wednesday.

The term “wellness” may seem a bit broad, but it’s nevertheless an important concept. It includes not only physical health, but also mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social health.

While the fair provided students a chance to look at their health habits, the message should be carried into daily life. Students who feel stressed or sick should take a few minutes each day to recoup.

Most importantly, students should take advantage of the wide variety of resources on campus, including the Counseling Center, Women’s Resource Center, Student Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Education Center, Tutoring Center and Career Services.

Considering that these services usually cost upwards of a $100 an hour compared to the $10 or $15 that students are charged on campus, the opportunity should not be wasted.

Even if it means renting a mountain bike from Campus Recreation Services to get some exercise and a study break, students should do whatever they can to take care of themselves.

In the end, the college years can be a prime time in a person’s life. Spending four years neglecting your health is not the way to make the most of it.