In the height of the pandemic, when students lived in their minuscule dorms and were forced to learn from a screen for a year, the gym was a luxury. If students couldn’t go outside or see any of their friends, at least they could better themselves physically—or at least try.
Getting yourself up and out of the sweats you’ve donned for seven days to go to a public gym was daunting in a world where being around other people could quite literally kill you. So, you would expect IMLeagues, the platform where one signs up for a slot at the gym, to offer a pleasant experience. Or at least one that made you forget the fact that you haven’t seen someone other than your roommate in months.
Well, lucky for you, IMLeagues offers the most frustrating, blood-curdling experience possible. I am sure you have been there, scrolling for what seems like years to reserve your spot for the treadmill at 1 p.m., your screen lurching forward and backward as you try to land right on the time you need. By the time you threw your phone across the room in anger, picked it up and finally reserved your spot, you got a better workout than you ever would at the gym.
While it may be funny now, the serious lagging of IMLeagues was just one more obstacle in the year 2020. The majority of students’ interactions with the outside world were through technology like Zoom, streaming sites and IMLeagues. These platforms claimed to have the most reliable services so that students could feel connected and even taken care of during an unbelievably hard time.
IMLeagues had a big job. Going to the gym is not only beneficial to students’ physical health but their mental health as well. During the pandemic, Generation Z and millennials suffered the most with mental illness. Every activity was harder to do. All that students needed at the time was ease.
But IMLeagues failed at its job of making going to the gym easy in a time where nothing was. When students were already burnt out from living through a global pandemic, the slowness of this app was just another reason not to take care of themselves.
It may sound silly to be so focused on how well an app works, but when an entire generation of students interacted with technology more than people, the technology needed to work. Especially when that technology is linked to physical and mental health.
IMLeagues is not the only one at fault, though.
Gonzaga University boasted about how much it cared for the declining mental health of its students but turned the other cheek when it came to IMLeagues. If GU understood the grizzly truth of mental illness, especially during a global catastrophe, it would realize that any tiny inconvenience could unleash months of built-up anger and frustration.
Thankfully, IMLeagues is no longer needed to work out at the gym. But it's still the primary platform for intramural activities, just as challenging as ever. Paying attention to details, like realizing the faults of a widely used app, can show students that their school does care for them. And in times of immense darkness, even a smoothly working app means the difference between a good day and a bad day.
Students should not forgive nor forget the extra challenge IMLeagues posed during an already challenging time.
And to IMLeagues, respectfully, fix your app. All students want to do is go to the gym. Stop making it so difficult.