• Kristin Gerkens, Senior Writer

New Year, BETTER You!

I’ve always loved the beginning of a new year. It means there is a whole year for new goals to be achieved, intentions to be set, and a fresh start to be had. Now that the holidays are over, a lot of goals and resolutions usually relate to nutrition and fitness. As a college student, the New Year can be a little stressful. It's a new semester, with new teachers, classes, and schedules. Now, everyone has had a week of school under their belt, I’m sure we are all starting to see how this semester is going to play out with due dates, projects, tests, and not to mention getting used to new teaching styles (I know I am!). With all of the change going on with the new semester, it’s easy to let some of the goals or resolutions that we set at the beginning of January slip away. Fortunately, UNF offers some awesome services that can help you achieve your goals and support you and your ambition to stick with your resolutions, every step of the way!

Physical Activity:

If you didn’t know, each month Healthy Osprey promotes a theme to focus on and THIS month they are focusing on celebrating physical activity (#UNFletsgetphysical). So, let’s get physical, Ospreys! Check out their Osprey Fit Program, which officially begins January 31st. The program is designed to educate on several different areas of wellness, while the participant’s goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day by the end of the program. For more information on how to register, click on the FB link, or call 904-620-4769.

Also, take advantage of the amazing gym (Student Wellness Center) we have on campus.

It’s open from 6:30am-11: 30pm from Monday - Thursday, 6:30am-10:00pm on Fridays, and 9:00am-10:00pm on Saturday and Sundays.

There is an enormous of equipment including weight machines, free weights, mats, and cardio machines. If you're looking for a change, try a new area of the gym, and ask the SWC employees for any assistance you may need. Don’t like working out by yourself or don’t really know where to begin? Take advantage of all the group fitness classes the SWC offers. This is a great opportunity to make some new friends that are like-minded and can help you pursue your health and fitness goals.

Do you prefer more one-on-one attention? The Student Wellness Center also offers personal training, which gives individualized training for all ranges of skill.

Ready for a new adventure? Just after you walk in, stop by the rock-climbing wall. The Osprey Cliff is perfect for new and more experienced climbers. Plus, you don't have to be outside in the cooler temps!

Make sure you stop by the Student Wellness Center to get more information or sign up for a fitness orientation and explore.

The Paul Shirley Assessment Center (PSAC) offers a plethora of additional services such as blood pressure screening, body composition testing, fitness assessments and a stretching program. The PSAC is located on the second floor of the SWC. To find out more or to schedule an appointment call 904-620-4769.

Another unique service UNF offers is the Ogier Gardens. Have you ever wanted to grow your own organic produce or learn more about sustainability and environmental preservation? The ‘adopt-a-bed’ program allows you to grow your own vegetables, learn about gardening with hands on experience as well as getting exercise and fresh air! Check out UNF’s Ogier Garden webpage for more information.


If your New Year's goals are more nutrition or food focused, UNF has services available for you too! Did you know that there are multiple dietitians on campus? Yemila Lowry is our full-time nutrition expert and works closely with the on-campus dining. She can answer any questions you have regarding food allergies, food intolerances, and the many healthy options that UNF has to offer. It's all possible, and Yemila is your one-stop-shop for the tips and tricks to making healthy changes that last a lifetime. Make sure to visit the UNF dining webpage to learn more about her specific nutrition services, see what’s healhty on the menu for each dining location, or schedule an appointment with her!

Kelley Schooley and Callie Stewart are two part time dietitians whom are a part of UNF's Department of Recreation and Wellness. They offer general nutritional counseling for the UNF community. So, whether you are a vegan, trying to lose or gain weight, on a sports team, have a health condition, or simply just want more knowledge on how to incorporate healthy foods into your hectic school schedule, they can assist your needs. And guess what? Appointments are free! These knowledgeable women can help you stick to your goals, and continue a lifestyle enriched by strong nutrition and healthy choices.

They also have a few events lined up, such as their "Eating on the Go, Grocery Store Tour." Visit the FB link to find out more information or call them at 904-620-5223!

Mental Health:

The UNF Counseling Center's mission is to enhance student total educational experience by providing a confidential and supportive environment where student concerns can be shared and explored. They assist students with their personal development and enhance their potential for academic success. The center achieves this by providing individual and group counseling, art therapy, and nutrition counseling. There are psychiatric services if students require medications. To find out more, visit their website or call 904-620-2602 to schedule an appointment.

Whether or not you have set New Year's resolutions, UNF provides many different options to help students. staff and faculty stay on track with your health and nutrition goals!

Stay Healthy Ospreys!

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For more information about meal plans or hours of operation, please visit dineoncampus.com/unf