As students continue to face the challenges of navigating a landscape impacted by COVID-19, they can turn to the university’s new Pandemic Personal Wellness course (UNIV 140) to learn about ways to prioritize their health and wellness.   

Physical Education Activities Program Coordinator Kristen Kavon piloted the course under a University Study Skills designation as a way to offer students flexibility in finding ways to stay healthy during the pandemic.

Pandemic Personal Wellness was offered for the first time in the fall.

Back in March after all university courses were moved online, Kavon was contacted by several students graduating in December 2020 who needed a one-credit course to satisfy the 128-credit requirement in order to graduate.

In its first semester, UNIV 140 was enrolled to capacity, having all 50 of its seats filled.

During the brainstorming process, Kavon knew their only option would be to have an online class, but a typical online fitness class involved too many legality concerns to be a feasible plan.

The course aims to allow students the freedom to design a health and wellness plan that best suits their lifestyle. Additionally, students get into the routine of setting aside a small allotment of time for physical activity throughout their day.

“I wanted to offer a lot of flexibility so that students felt like they could find an activity that was in relation to the wellness area we were focusing on that felt relevant to their life right now,” Kavon said.

Students are required to log 30 minutes of activity five times a week in addition to other section-specific assignments depending on which area of wellness they are focusing on

The 12-week course starts one week after the start of the semester and ends one week before finals. Throughout the course, students learn about each of the six areas of wellness, spending two weeks on each area. The six areas include physical, mental, social, financial, occupational and spiritual wellness.

Over the course of the 12 weeks, Kavon provides students with a variety of self-reflective assignments that students can tailor to their own needs and situation.

Sophomore Hanna Rasmussen decided to enroll in UNIV 140 after the course title caught her eye while scrolling through Morning Mail.

“I am a firm believer in being proactive regarding one's mental, emotional and physical health,” Rasmussen said. “I also know how intricately interconnected they are. You can’t be your truest and healthiest self if one of the pillars is lacking.”

Rasmussen, who is passionate about holistic health and self-care says she is always striving to learn new ways to improve her productivity routine and hopes to learn more about herself by taking this course.

This semester, Kavon hopes to implement more of a community aspect to the course where students have the opportunity to share ideas and learn from each other.

“I want students to realize how good you can feel if you focus on some of these areas and that it’s a whole big wheel and that if you focus on one area more than the other, we throw things off,” Kavon said.

Kavon says she is happy to have as many students as possible in her class, with the enrollment cap set at 1,000 seats.

Enrollment for UNIV 140 is currently open on Zagweb and can be found by searching for the subject “University Study Skills.”

Devan Iyomasa is a news editor. Follow her on Twitter: @devaniyomasa.

Devan Iyomasa is a news editor. Follow her on Twitter: @devaniyomasa.

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