It is no secret, Doane students are notorious gamblers, who willingly sacrifice their health in order to continue doing the things that keep them “busy.”
Sports. Greek Life. Student Organizations. Classes. Work. At any given second, a Doane student can be seen in any of these social settings; even a “Doane Chiller.” With all of this social exertion and physical interaction, one has to wonder what role Doane’s “busy culture” has to play on one’s health.
In the fall of 2019, 702 students have made appointments at the Counseling Center, Director of Campus Wellness, Rachel Cznersky, said.
Senior Erika Herrera said that there were times where she struggled a lot with her mental health since coming to Doane.
“When things get busy, I would have so much anxiety built inside me that it would lead to panic attacks,” Herrera said. “There were times, especially when softball season overlapped with Greek Week, that it would get super stressful and I would not get the right amount of sleep needed or have too much anxiety.”
Since coming to Doane, Sophomore Ariel Ortiz said she has seen Nurse Kelly more than she thought she would.
“I went to public school throughout my secondary education, and saw the Nurse maybe ten times,” Ortiz said. “I saw Kelly three times my first semester at Doane before going home because I didn’t have healthcare in Nebraska .”
Ortiz attributes the decline of her physical health mostly to stress and not getting enough sleep.
“My body shuts down entirely [due to overinvolvement] in tennis, band, and with classes,” Ortiz said. “I could never eat on Wednesdays during the fall semester due to the scheduling.”
Ortiz also said that she was pulling all-nighters every weekend due to her compact schedule. However, since the beginning of the spring semester, she has only pulled three to four all-nighters this far.
“At this point, illness is due to stress, which is why I plan on quitting or taking a smaller role in tennis,” Ortiz said.
In regards to Doane’s “busy culture” Director of Student Health Services, Kelly Jirovec, believes that students have a general tendency to be over-involved in a lot of things. From classes to organizations, the social scene, or a combination of all three, she said.
Overinvolvement can impact a person in the form of illness, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, low grades or by straining personal relationships, Jirovec said.
The biggest advice that Jirovec suggests is for students to learn how to say “no” and the practice good health habits such as: getting eight hours of sleep each night, frequent hand washing, intentional exercise, maintaining a clean room, wash bedding regularly, maintain a well-balanced diet, limit alcohol and drug use and see help when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
“If you don’t take time for your health, you will be forced to take time for your illness,” Jirovec said.
In order to cope with exhaustion, Herrara cites music, both playing and listening to, in addition to going to practice or working out , as being a major support for her mental health since going to college.
“It helps me forget all of the stress that is going on in my life,” Herrera said. “I have specific times set aside to reflect on how I am health wise and focus on myself because if I don’t, then I will not be taking care of myself.”
Herrera suggests that more Doane students should start to do the same because one’s health is just as important as one’s involvement, she said.
Erika Herrera is involved in: Doane Softball, Kappa Phi Zeta Sorority, GUILD, CA sophomore and junior year, Orientation Leader junior and senior year, work-study for grounds and the library.
Ariel Ortiz is involved in: Kappa Phi Zeta Sorority, Tennis, the education program, philanthropy committee,DAISY, practicum, band and choir, works as a library assistant and campus math tutor, was a grader for calculus, and is going to be a CA next year.