By J1 Reporter Chloe Degan
The growing teenage body needs plenty of nourishment, nutrition and exercise. Marian introduced a new course this year that is required for freshmen to take at one point before they graduate. However, the class is also open to all other students as well.
The class, titled “Introduction to Wellness,” is based on informing and teaching teens about nutrition, drugs and alcohol, mental health and ways to exercise. The class is taught by Mr. B.J. Christiansen, who says that his main goal for the girls is to “teach them that wellness isn’t just about what you eat or exercise. It’s a whole mind and body thing.”
The class is currently learning about the effects of drugs and alcohol and the damages that it can have on growing minds and bodies. Freshman Emma Hennessey says that this has been the most interesting topic that they have covered in class so far. “We got to learn how they affect us and why they are so incredibly dangerous,” Hennessey said.
Girls have also had lessons over physical, mental, emotional and social health. They’ve learned how to keep their mental states healthy and positive. They’ve learned how to keep nutritious diets, the best ways to exercise, how to stay happy, how to avoid anxiety and stress, and how to build healthy relationships.
Students have also been taught how to deal with stress in a positive and efficient manner. “The unit over stress is the most important because it’s what we all deal with most. Girls deal with it every day so it’s important to know how to deal with stress in healthy ways. Stress isn’t always bad. It can also be healthy,” Christiansen said.
The girls often have yoga sessions on block days to help calm them and bring them peace. It’s also a great way to de-stress. “I think that yoga and breathing is important because when we’re stressed we have something to do to help us,” freshman Ryan Sully said. Yoga has been proven to relax the body and mind. It can also help develop a strong connection between the mind and body.
Unfortunately, like many classes, not everything can be super exciting or interesting. Many girls found the nutrition and food group unit to be more on the boring side. “I found the lesson regarding nutrition least interesting. Although I learned a lot, I didn’t see myself applying any of the things I learned to my daily life, and I didn’t find it interesting,” Hennessy said. Even with some of the information being dull and boring, students are still learning new things that they didn’t necessarily know before.
However, Christian says that he “understands that not all of the information will be exciting.” He believes that “this could be because they are not interested in the subject, they already know the information, or it is tough information.” But, he believes that it encourages him to “challenge himself to improve the lesson in the following semester.” He appreciates all feedback he gets back from the students, good or bad.
With this class comes lots of information, which means lots of studying and hard work. “I thought that learning about what all of the food groups and serving sizes was the least interesting,” Sully said, “because it had a lot of memorizing.”
Even with lots of work, girls are recommending this class to upper and lower classmen. “I would recommend this class to both upper and lower classmen because the course gives a lot of helpful information that can be put into everyday life,” freshman Jordan Moser said. Marian has never had a class like this before. With all junk food, temptations, and sugar out there, it can be hard to stay healthy. After completing this course, girls will have a deeper understanding of how important it is to keep the human body clean and nutritious.
The class will be taught different ways accomplish this and will be informed on various things to avoid, such as greasy food, drugs, smoking, alcohol (excessive amounts), fattening and high calorie foods, sugary drinks and staying up late. Try and exercise everyday and keep a daily and consistent diet, get lots of sleep and drink plenty of water.
Christiansen is very confident with all of the topics he teaches. “I feel very comfortable with any topic that I teach. I had a lot experience with this information in my college courses. I have also been working with high schoolers for over a decade so I feel comfortable talking with them, even about hard topics,” Christiansen said. He hopes that every student will learn something new after taking the course and will also have a better knowledge of how important body nutrition is.
This course is an informative and efficient way for girls to stay on top of their mental and physical health and to keep their growing minds and bodies healthy and positive.