I have chosen to pursue a degree in Communication & Media for Wellness & Exercise. The program I have outlined is very heavily science-based, with communication courses and photography in it as well. I have a passion for wellness and exercise, and even more so a passion for sharing that with people. Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are too many people who genuinely don’t understand wellness and exercise; I want to share my knowledge with the world to change peoples lives for the better. I chose to make the program more science-based because I feel that having a deep understanding of the human body, wellness, and exercise would make me a very credible source. While my communication and photography classes are important, those are skills that will be built and made better over time, whereas the science involves a lot more studying. I wanted to but these disciplines together instead of just studying either exercise science or communication and media studies. With just exercise science, I wouldn’t have gotten the communication and media studies skills, and with just communication and media studies, I wouldn’t have gotten the scientific knowledge I need. It is a unique combination because of this incorporation of communication and science. Often times experts in a scientific field aren’t taught how to communicate what they know to people who don’t really understand what they’re talking about, the terms they’re using, etc. This combination allows me to learn an immense amount of exercise science and wellness as well as how to communicate it to people who don’t really understand it.
I chose to take Intro to Media & Cultural Studies not only because it is a pre-requisite for other communications courses, but because it is a great way to not only learn about media (a field I will be involved with for my career), and how to reach a variety of audiences. You learn about communication with different cultures and people, which is very important for a successful communication/media career. Communication, Media, and Wellness is quite obviously extremely relevant to my major, in fact, the titles are almost the same. This basically is a course surrounding my major and what I am studying. It is an introduction to exactly what I’m pursuing. Social Media Audience Engagement is a key skill in today’s world for marketing yourself, and for getting your work out in the world for people to see. I will learn skills to do this and to successfully get my work looked at. It will allow me to reach a large audience. Technical Communication is an important class recommended to me by my advisor. It gets into the specifics of communication and builds a lot of skill in that regard. It allows for a deeper understanding of communication. Communication Theory is a course I chose to put in my major because it is key for understanding how to communicate with an audience to change their behavior. I hope to one-day influence more people to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle, so understanding this is key to my success. Organizational Communications is a course that teaches all about effective and efficient writing and speaking. This is a skill-building course for what I would like to do as a career and is an important introduction to communications.
For my QRCO, I chose the class called Measurement and Assessment in Physical Education. I felt that this was relevant because an important part of making a change to health and wellness is being able to assess and interpret someone’s fitness levels, explain it to them, what it means, and what they should do. Human Anatomy & Physiology I was an extremely important class for understanding and learning just about everything about the human body. I learned an incomprehensible amount about our bodies which is key information for other courses that follow. Human Anatomy & Physiology II was again, packed full of information. This class mostly focused on the physiology of our bodies, which is even more important to understand how we work. This class set me up for success in exercise/wellness courses. Human A&P Laboratory I was a hands-on way to learn about information from A&P I. As someone who is a hands-on learner, it helped me to better understand what I was learning in the lecture. Human A&P Laboratory II was again, a hands-on way to learn the information from A&P II. I could see, feel, and experiment more with what I was learning in the lecture, so it took that information a step further. Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living is a key course for the wellness aspect of my major. It is undeniable that nutrition is a vital part of wellness, so learning about this is 100% necessary for me to teach anyone about wellness. Flex, Core & Balance Training not only taught me about how to improve these skills, but I also learned how to communicate and teach people who don’t really understand how exercise works. This is a key idea of my major; I need to be able to communicate with and teach people who don’t understand. Functional Anatomy was all about how the human body moves. This is a key concept for exercise science, so it is something I need to understand to be able to communicate about exercise. Another class in my contract is Intro to Exercise Science. This class is important because it was an overview of exercise science, which I need to understand for my career. It went deeper than just “how to work out”, it was about the science behind it and why things are the way they are. It was a great introduction and set up for other exercise science courses. Resistance Training Techniques, similar to Flex, Core & Balance Training, taught me about weight training, as well as how to teach it. I learned a lot about explaining a type of exercise that is extremely helpful to health, but is also very misunderstood. It is something that is very important for me to be able to explain and communicate about to others. Kinesiology was similar to functional anatomy, but took it a step further with physics. I learned a lot more about the deeper science behind it, which is important to make me a credible source and to help me fully understand exercise and movement. Physiology of Exercise was all about how our bodies respond towards exercise, which is key to understanding exercise, and understanding how we react towards it. This was a key exercise science course toward my major because I learned about different types of exercise on a very deep level. My Physiology of Exercise Laboratory course was a hands-on way to learn about the concepts of Physiology of Exercise. I was able to do testing, data collection, and interpretation. Because science is always changing, these skills will be key to my career for the ability to be continually credible.
This program is quite clearly interdisciplinary. I am taking exercise science and wellness, and combining it with communications and media, which are two very different disciplines. These are two very separate fields, and a lot of people who study either one don’t get much knowledge of the other. Interestingly enough, the only time you really see these together is once you’re in the working world. These disciplines are rarely combined in education. This program is going to prepare me for a career of creating content about wellness and exercise. With my extensive knowledge of exercise science and continually growing communication skills, I will be able to get messages across about wellness and exercise that people without a science background will be able to understand and use to better themselves.
A lot has changed for me since last spring. As I learn, grow, and take in all kinds of new experiences, what I want to pursue for my future changes as well. In my earlier years of college, I was obsessed with learning all about diet and exercise. I thought these were the the only two components of health. Over time and through a long process of self-discovery, I have found the importance of other aspects of wellness. As I struggled through personal battle after battle, I discovered that maybe working out and eating salad every day wasn’t the key to my wellness and happiness.
I have fallen in love with the world of holistic wellness, spirituality, and energy healing. I’ve started to meditate every day, do yoga, and focus on my spirituality and relationship with the universe. While these aren’t the kinds of things that are typically taught in universities, I am working on changing my IDS program to include them. I recently discovered Plymouth State’s “Personal Approaches to Transformation and Healing” program. It is a post-graduate program that can be included as part of a masters or done just for the certificate. I immediately started trying to find a way to get these courses into my IDS major (I’m still waiting to hear back from course instructors). I read the course descriptions and was immediately ecstatic. It was like the program was built for me. It’s EXACTLY what I want to pursue, and it’s been right there all along, I just had to do some searching. I went from counting down the days ’til graduation, to looking at houses for next fall so I can pursue this certificate program. While I’m grateful for my knowledge in exercise science and such aspects of health, what I’m pursuing now is so much more fulfilling to me.
One thing, however, hasn’t changed about what I want to get out of my interdisciplinary degree. I still want to share what I know with people, and I want to change the lives of others for the better. I want to take my experiences and my struggles and use them to guide others in living a well-rounded, healthy and happy life… in all aspects. I always liked exercise and such, but I’ve never been excited about it like I am with spiritual and holistic health. I know many people consider it “weird” or “taboo”, I mean even my own family thinks I’m crazy because I meditate with a crystal on my forehead, cleanse my room with a sage ritual, and read about reiki healing. Luckily, I’ve grown confident enough to tune that energy out and continue to share what I’ve grown to love with others. I do this because I believe it can help people. I want to be a mentor, a teacher, and a friend to people who are a little lost in life, because if they can find their path, they can be the best version of themselves. I truly believe that if more and more individuals are becoming the best version of themselves, the world can change for the better. I want to facilitate that growth and I feel like it is my calling. It’s like I finally found my “thing” after all these years of searching, and now all I want to do is learn and share everything I can.