HP 200 class not a practical requirement

Tegan King

Every student that attends NMU is required to take the HP 200 course at some point during their college career. Although some would claim that the HP 200 course offered at NMU is a tool many students can use to create a healthy lifestyle and navigate the pressures of campus living, I believe that it is a waste of time and money and should not be required to graduate unless it pertains to a student’s degree.

Tegan King
Tegan King

The course instructs students in the six dimensions of wellness, with informative presentations on alcohol abuse, cancer, how to correctly handle stress and how to be healthy as a college student.

For those who wait to take this course until they are upperclassmen, they have for the most part learned through personal experience how to assimilate into a college campus and healthy lifestyle. Likewise, incoming freshmen have already endured health classes in high school which warned them of the dangers of alcohol, smoking, unprotected sex, destructive eating disorders and other lifestyle choices. Do administrators really think they are rescuing wayward college students who have made poor health choices, or saving students from the choices they might make?

Some students and graduates of NMU state that most of the information provided in HP 200 was intuitive; additionally, the tests regarding everything from heart attack risks to the definition of sexual harassment can be done with common sense. Some students also feel as if the course did nothing to further them in their desired job field, and wonder why resources are being used on a class that feels obsolete.

The NMU faculty believe that the course raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of illnesses such as cancer and sexually transmitted diseases, and allows students to reflect on the wellness of their current lifestyle and change the things which are universally considered unhealthy.

In terms of older students taking the course, faculty member Barb Coleman, an associate professor in the School of Health, Physical Education and recreation and an HP 200 professor, believes the course teaches students how to balance the craziness of college and cope with the stress of multiple jobs, aiding aging relatives and raising young families. While this may be true, it seems that no matter what students are taught on the subject of stress, each person will handle it in their own individual way, not by methods given to them by a professor. The course is surely a valuable resource for students, but they have to have the personal motivation to take the class and not  the obligation to do so through the university.

The bottom line is that if the information does not pertain to one’s degree, not much attention will be devoted to it. Though students may be learning valuable information regarding their health, most students already understand the facts and dangers of the choices they make, and frankly, aren’t phased by a college class that is reminiscent of a class they took in high school. That being said, college is expensive and students have a heavy load to finish in two or four years. Making a class such as HP 200 required is not a beneficial use of time for students who are here to learn their major and move on. Adding unnecessary requirements to an already overwhelming workload is a waste of student time that could be spent devoted to degrees and relevant classes.