Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de Janon 12F
Something that I’ve learned during my time at Hampshire is that before any commitment or academic demand, taking care of yourself matters the most. We all need space for self-care; without it, our physical, emotional and/or mental stability can be at stake. Last week, I visited Jordan Perry, our new Director of Wellness Promotion. She can help you in achieving holistic health and wellness in your life, something essential for your success at college.
A North Carolinian at heart, Jordan has been working at Hampshire for more than a month now. She is passionate about challenging commonly held misconceptions on what the ‘college experience’ really is. “We get a lot of messages from the media and from each other about what the college experience is ‘supposed to be’, but that isn’t true for everyone, ” argues Jordan. “You might be surprised to hear that most college students drink alcohol moderately or not at all. It’s actually a minority of students who engage in the risky behaviors we see so often in movies like Old School. Shockingly, there aren’t a whole lot of college movies about moderate drinking or safe, consensual sex.” She loves her new job at Hampshire College, as she sees a lot of structural support for her work and an approachable administration and staff. Jordan also appreciates the amount of room for growth and flexibility that is given to her, as well as the emphasis Hampshire College has in cultivating social justice in its students.
As the Director of Wellness Promotion, Jordan oversees the Wellness Center and all its activities. Located in Enfield, next to the basketball court, this student life center offers fantastic resources and support to our students. Its Relaxation Club gives free, drop-in 15-minute massages from Monday to Friday, between 3 and 8 p.m. It also has delicious warm drinks and healthy snacks (I had this delicious maple & brown sugar oatmeal after my visit with Jordan). Additionally, the Wellness Center can provide you with a diverse array of free safer sex supplies, and with information regarding substance use, healthy relationships, safe sex, stress management, mental health, and physical well-being. And as an added bonus, the Wellness Center has a sun room with light boxes that you can use there or check out and take with you. These tools can help you confront the rough New England cold and fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder (you know where to find me next JanTerm!).
Jordan says that she and the Wellness Center can give new students relaxation, something extremely important for you during your first year at Hampshire. She also hopes to serve as a friendly liaison between you and our Health & Counseling Services. In terms of the work she is doing right now, Jordan is promoting consent culture and figuring out how the Wellness Center can best meet students’ needs. If you have ideas, let her know!
Something that really struck me from my visit to Jordan Perry was her commitment to challenging misconceptions of college life. She sees as one of the most problematic ones the strange sleep culture embraced by college students. “Getting little to no sleep has become a sort of badge of honor,” she says. The less you sleep, the more bragging rights you seem to have. But the reality is that just like we need to breathe and eat to survive, our bodies cannot function without sleep. “Imagine you had a lot of work to do one night,” proposes Jordan. “You would never say: ‘Okay, I’m going to stop breathing for two hours to get my work done.’ But we give up sleep so quickly.”
Jordan and the Wellness Center have a lot to offer to you. Don’t hesitate to stop by whenever you’re feeling stressed, if you feel like you just need a break or a massage, or if you have an idea for the Wellness Center or Jordan herself. She’s always happy to talk with students, and she’s more than willing to share her experience and knowledge of public health. Jordan can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember: Breathe, eat, and sleep!
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