Weighing in on Freshman Health & Wellness

Sophia Knox, Staff Writer

Health and Wellness is an enlightening program that freshmen experience to further educate them on daunting subjects. Some of the important topics that have been touched upon are the effects eating disorders and alcoholism can have on teenagers, as well as the mental battles they can cause. Guest speakers who have first-hand experience with these topics take on the heavy responsibility of providing freshmen with crucial information, supported by the senior Health and Wellness TA’s.

The overall alcoholism presentation was well executed; there were many presenters and different voices to give varied points of views on the subject. The quality of the presentation was good via Zoom and easy to understand. The presenters shared their saddening stories and enlightened us while doing so. They all explained how alcoholism can be an uncontrollable illness, passed down genetically, and efficiently answered questions that fellow students had.

The Health and Wellness class on eating disorders was an informative, interesting piece done by McCall Manning Dempsey, who is well known for her popular smashing scales movement. This movement’s purpose is to bring awareness to the power that numbers have over people and most importantly not letting that number affect happiness or overall wellbeing. She tells her stories to help others overcome or prevent eating issues and stresses the importance of not letting the numbers on a device control people’s ability to live a happy, healthy lifestyle. There was some negative feedback from some of the freshmen about the presentation, as well as positive. Dempsey touched on specific well-known eating disorders, but given the lack of time and attention she could not fully cover some important facts. According to breathelifehealingcenters.com, there are 12 types of eating disorders, but only some of those 12 disorders were brought into the discussion. In the alcoholism presentation students heard from multiple guest speakers. Since McCall was alone presenting there was a lack of variety, and the presentation may have suffered because students heard only one person’s perspective.

SA students had opinions as well as advice to share when asked about this topic. Freshman Cat Weber Sanguinetti stated that the eating disorder presentation could have been more insightful and touched on more than one person’s experience. The length of both presentations was roughly 90 minutes, which quickly lost many students’ attention.

Collectively, many would agree there were flaws in the presentations, but many things can be done to improve the quality of them. Weber Sanguinetti suggested that a medical professional would help the credibility of the eating disorder presentations, as well as having different people who have had varied experiences with eating disorders. Having a more interactive presentation that would allow students to move around and converse could also hold attention and keep students paying attention. This constructive criticism could greatly improve an already impressive and helpful presentation.