Meditation has become ultra-popular these days. In the University setting, many practice the activity in order to stay focused and calm while stress can be a common thing while you're in class.
At the University of Vermont, meditation can be done for college credit! Taught by Professor James Hudziak, ‘Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies’, is a part of the University of Vermont’s ‘Wellness Environment’ program.
Being the Chief of Child Psychiatry at UVM College of Medicine, Hudziak pitched the idea to offer yoga, mindfulness, incredible nutrition, fitness, fitness pals, fitness on demand. “They said; 'Sure, Jim!’” Hudziak said. When asked if she would take a class based around the idea of ‘Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies’, Molly Bishop, a communications and theatre student at Arizona State University said, “It would give me a set time where I knew I could be mindful and let go of the rest of my week no matter how hectic it was.”
The program at the University of Vermont started with 120 freshman last year and has nearly quadrupled in size.
“If it were a class that I could get credit and put scholarships towards, I would totally do it,”
A large asset to the program is that violators to the alcohol and drug free dorm policy get kicked out. “We incentivize you, pay you essentially to engage in positive behavioural change,” said Hudziak.
Incentives include free gym membership, nutrition and fitness coaches and an app that tracks their activities. “I think it would actually be a huge benefit to mental health around general college life,” said Arizona State University engineering student Colton Lowery.
“I’m surprised it isn’t already a thing. It definitely has a future,” Lowery said.