The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Wellness is a state of mind: Q&A with Donna L. Gober

There are few moments in life when we truly have epiphanies, “Ah ha” moments that really make us pause our hectic schedules to say, “What the heck am I doing?”

As a matter of fact, in our age of materialism and idolism, it seems like an occurrence that might happen once or twice in a person’s life.

I had one of those moments in the midst of my interview with Dr. Donna L. Gober, one of the outstanding faculty members of the SMU Applied Physiology and Wellness Department.  What I got out of the interview was a truly deep conversation.

Q. What is fitness to you?

A. “Fitness and wellness are not necessarily synonymous.  A cancer patient might not be fit but could be well  [that’s right, let that digest for a minute].  For a college student, a desired level of fitness is a personal choice, but for desirable health outcomes, moderate levels of fitness are beneficial to overall health and well-being.

“Wellness is, on the other hand, a dynamic state of living.  Its cornerstones are self-awareness and self-reflection.  As you’ll see, fitness is only one aspect of wellness.”

Q. We are often stressed, home-sick, and perhaps we’re not making as many friends as we’d like to.  How do we change that situation?

A. “Excellent question. We don’t claim to have all the answers; rather, we strive to draw forth questions that help students think critically about who they are and what they want, and this helps them find their own answers.

These types of questions are generally weaved into the curriculum and class discussions, as well as out-of-class experiences, which provide active learning and engagement in a dimension of wellness.”

Q. For the student trying to change their lives accordingly, what would you say to them?

A. “Begin thinking about what constitutes quality for you; what is it that you really want from your experience, what is it that your name means to you and what do you want it to mean to others? Who are you becoming? Who will you become? .

“As faculty in a higher institution of learning, we’re not simply here to teach you, but instead, inspire the students to be architects of their own lives. Holding personal responsibility for our actions is an important step in self-actualization and something we can all get better at doing.”

 

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