A nutrition professor gave a presentation on March 5 to faculty members about preparing students for exams beyond content in the Winn Center.
Nutrition Professor Timaree Hagenburger discussed the health issues that affect students’ academic performances. She encouraged professors to incorporate wellness activities and tips into their classes.
“Faculty undervalues the role that they can play in being a role model in non-content related information,” said Hagenburger.
The professors who attended the presentation said that they see a lot of stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue in students.
“I don’t think students realize how good they can feel,” said Hagenburger. “They’re kind of used to getting up tired, never feeling very energetic, never feeling very enthusiastic and that translates to academic performance.”
Hagenburger’s main points were about the importance of drinking water, eating whole plant foods, prioritizing sleep and implementing daily intentional physical activity. She said that thinking of exercise as, “intentional physical activity,” can help to overcome the stigma of exercise.
“A huge factor of stress is lack of sleep,” said anatomy and physiology Professor Todd Drybread. “I wish students would realize how much nutrition and exercise affect the physical brain.”
Hagenburger said she wishes professors would model their behavior, like bringing their water bottle to campus everyday and encouraging students to use the filtered water stations.
Drybread was moved by how much he can influence the students and as an anatomy teacher, he plans on incorporating these ideas into his classes.
“Help students create habits,” said Hagenburger. “The comments that you make, make a gigantic difference.”
“Personally, I never expect to spend as much time as I do on classes,” said Jay Rai, a 21-year-old computer science major. Rai said that time management is his largest academic obstacle.
“Midterms bring a lot of anxiety into my life,” said Courtney Cox, a 19-year-old biology major. “During exams I shut myself off from friends and family, I hide away and just study.”
Bring your own food to school, walk laps around buildings before class, prioritize sleep and remember that the “original fast-food” is fruit, said Hagenburger.
“Have faith that what you’re doing is building a foundation that will help you in every part of your life,” said Hagenburger.
Hagenburger has quick, healthy and inexpensive food options great for the student lifestyle on her website at thenutritionprofessor.com