What Are “Wellness Dorms”? They’re AWESOME.

Wellness dorms promote positivityYou’ve decided on a college–or you’re close to it– and the next big decision you have to make is where you’re going to live. There are multiple different styles of living on most campuses, and the thought of making such a big decision when you haven’t had much choice about your living arrangements in the past, can be pretty overwhelming.

Should you live in a double? A single? A suite? Apartment style? The options seem endless. But there is another type of dorm style that is becoming more and more popular across the country and it just might be the right fit for you. Wellness dorms.

Wellness dorms are basically living learning communities (LLCs)–like-minded students living together in the dorms. It may be a floor, or an entire building, but it’s a smaller group of students within the larger college campus community. The difference is that rather than being grouped together based on your major, you’re grouped in with other students who are focused on a healthy lifestyle.

This style of dorm differs at every campus, but the general idea is that it is that the students living in wellness dorms are committed to a holistically healthy lifestyle which means that all 7 dimensions of wellness are a daily focus for students.

Students at the University of North Dakota benefit from a community focused on all aspects of their well-being. In order to find a balance for each of the 7 dimensions, they take classes together, go on trips, and get to spend time together as a group during regular activities.

Extra Programming & Exercise Classes

One of the main benefits of living in a wellness dorm is the extra programming provided to the residents. This programming can consist of anything from how to cook a healthy meal, to how to set a budget, and meditation classes. Students living in Frostburg State’s bWell program are able to access the colleges “CHILL” Program, which is focused on “Creating Healthy, Informed, Lasting Lifestyles.” The skills taught during this type of programming are things that students in other residence situations would have to learn on their own.

Students living in the Wellness Environment at the University of Vermont all take a seminar course together called “Healthy Brains Healthy Bodies”. The course counts for 3 credits and explores health and well-being from a neuroscience perspective and gives the students a better understanding of the benefits of wellness living.

In addition to programming focused on gaining understanding and learning new skills, there are also opportunities focused on physical wellness. Students living in wellness dorms often have exercise facilities located in their building or attend fitness classes together. The students attending classes together often feel a level of support and camaraderie that many people miss out on at the gym. Don’t feel like taking the time to attend yoga today? Betsy from down the hall is going to be there to motivate you to get your butt in gear.

Substance Free

Most wellness dorms are also substance free. Residents are often required to pledge that they will be abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol during their time of residence. They are meant to be focused on wellness from a holistic standpoint so agreeing to be substance free goes hand in hand.

Wellness Dorms Community

While the extra programming, fitness opportunities, and substance free atmosphere of wellness dorms are well advertised, wellness dorms also have an unexpected benefit for many students. Because the students are all experiencing a different living style from the rest of campus, the community that forms is unlike any other. Students find a level of support in all aspects of their life rather than in just extracurricular or academic aspects.

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