The sound of laughter as you enter the door. Friends teasing each other and chuckling. Acquaintances yelling words of motivation to each other. These are the sounds that go through my ears as I walk through the haven where friends are made, and brought closer together. What may seem as a large concrete building with windows is so actually so much more than that. The loud music and sound of clanking metal is a social hub for Western Washington University. The always busy Wade King Student Recreational Center, or Rec Center, sits just off Bill McDonald Parkway on the south end of campus. As you walk through the always welcoming doors, one can notice that there is a café on the right, filled with people enjoying a meal, smoothie or coffee while they work on homework or socializing. On the left is a glass room that is jammed pack with people bettering themselves by lifting weights and working out with other people that share a common goal of lifting more weight or looking ripped. Straight ahead lies a very large desk with employees who are always friendly as they swipe students’ ID cards, so they can enter the gym, and greet them kindly. This walkway is full of light and more importantly, full of life. The rock wall, the pool, the basketball courts, the weight rooms, cardio rooms, and locker rooms are all full of chatter and have a very vibrant feel to them. The Rec Center isn’t just a gym and café but it’s a social center for all people to relieve stress, have a good time, meet a lot of new people, and get away from the academic setting of college. As a student who has a hard time making new friends, and meeting people, the Rec Center is the place to go to form friendships and have a good time surrounded by people with a common goal. With so many activities to do at the Rec Center, one can easily find a group of people that enjoys the same activity, whether it be bodybuilding, running, rock climbing, swimming, basketball, dancing, or even enjoying a fruit smoothie on a nice day in Bellingham. The Rec Center seems like a gym but it is so much more than that.

View from outside the Wade King Student Recreational Center.

The Wade King Student Recreational Center is a very important place on the campus of Western Washington University. The Rec Center is a haven for students on a rainy day when they cannot go outside as well as a place to hangout with friends no matter the weather. It is a place for students to relieve stress through exercise and just being with other students who are doing the same thing. The Student Recreational Center is so important to Western Washington University because college students really battle with stress as they’re in a new environment trying to adjust as well as all the schoolwork that comes along with being a college student. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s article “Physical Activity Reduces Stress” “Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.” The Rec Center provides a place to these students to exercise to relieve stress as well as just be with other people that can help them to keep their minds off of all the stress of college.

Students relieving stress in a dance class at The Rec Center.

Another reason the Rec Center is a social hub for the Western Washington students is because physical activity actually improves a person’s social life. Exercise is very important for the health of individuals. There are many organizations that research the affects of physical activity on people, one such organization is the Livestrong Foundation. According to the article “Social & Emotional Benefits of Regular Exercise,” they say “You may be more likely to reach out to others due to your increased self-confidence.” So going to the Rec Center and meeting new people is one way to make friends, but working out actually makes you more likely to communicate to others. This means that you will be more willing to talk to strangers when you’re not in the gym. This will make it much easier to make new friends and give you a confidence boost.

Exercise brings people together and helps individuals meet others.

The increased self confidence that comes with physical activity helps students to battle depression which is very common in college students. The mental battle that many people fight is especially common for young adults. Depression in college students is a topic that researched greatly by health experts such as the Healthline organization which publishes articles that are reviewed by doctors. One such article called “Depression and College Students” states that students experience depression because of “a loss of sleep, poor eating habits and not enough physical activity make up a recipe for depression among college students.” Students that battle depression could help to improve their current state by going to the Rec Center and getting exercise. Going to the gym will also help students battling depression to meet new friends that can give them a support system and give them a sense of belonging. This support system will aid a student to do well in classes as they will have friends that want to see them succeed and will do what it takes to help them.

Working out is great for students physical as well as mental health because exercise aids in better sleep. As college students, sleep can be very hard to come by as many find themselves lacking the proper rest needed to focus in class and stay awake while studying. When you’re tired, you generally are not in a very good mood which causes people stay clear from you as you look like unhappy and tired. A study conducted by Matthew Walker, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley found that “Insufficient sleep removes the rose tint to our emotional world, causing an overestimation of threat. This may explain why people who report getting too little sleep are less social and more lonely.” Exercising at the Rec Center will aid in sleep for many students which will cause them to be more focused in class, have a better outlook on their lives, as well as help a person to be more social. Rest is very important for the mental and physical well-being of people and helps individuals to get more done because of the increased focus that sleep gives individuals.

Running at the Wade King Student Recreational Center is one way that can aid in better sleep.

The Wade King Student Recreational Center is a gym that promotes physical health and aids in mental health in many ways. It makes exercise easily accessible to many students. This exercise is very good for young adults as it helps them to live a healthy lifestyle, meet new people, make new friends, gain self-esteem, and battle depression. The Rec Center forms young adults into all around healthy individuals and aids them in being genuinely happy with themselves. So if you’re looking to meet new friends and love yourself more, there’s no better place on the Western Washington University campus than the Wade King Student Recreational Center.

Works Cited

Boardman, S. (2012). Is Lack of Sleep Ruining Your Social Life? Retrieved May 17, 2016, from http://positiveprescription.com/is-lack-of-sleep-ruining-your-social-life/

Kerr, M. (2012, March 29). Depression and College Students. Retrieved May 10, 2016, from http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/college-students

Kulas, M. (2015, January 28). Social & Emotional Benefits of Regular Exercise. Retrieved May 10, 2016, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/477451-social-emotional-benefits-of-regular-exercise/

Physical Activity Reduces Stress. (2010). Retrieved May 17, 2016, from http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st

Image #1: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwu/4008745659

Image #2: http://www.klipsunmagazine.com/baby-steps/

Image #3: http://ymcaboston.org/our-cause/news/hyde-park-ymca-hosts-free-outdoor-exercise-classes-july

Image #4: http://www.wwu.edu/sustain/involved/news/

Retorical Assessment

  1. How you understood a ‘general audience’ influencing your piece — what did it mean to you to write on a platform like Medium?

Having a broad audience like an audience on medium was new for me because people will be reading this article and they don’t know me at all. The don’t know I even exist. They don’t care about me or my opinion so one must write very neutrally so it doesn’t offend anyone.

2. What did you do in your review to help your reader understand the way you’re approaching your place? In other words, how did you clue your reader into the way you perceive the purpose of your place? Why did you choose to do it the way you did?

I clued that I was writing about the Rec Center as a place for social interaction and mental health by repeating that sentence many times. I included quotes from articles that backed up my points and what I was saying. I chose to be very blunt and just directly say what my angle was because I wanted to make it clear.

3. How you considered your own position as a student in 101 while writing this review — how did this affect how you wrote and what you wrote?

Being a student influenced my writing because my position was from a college student and was written towards college students. I definitely wrote from the perspective of a college student.

4. Why you decided to make the decisions regarding design that you did.What meaning does the design of your review have?

When words are in italics, they are talking about the social benefits of exercise and the bold words are about depression and stress. I tried to incorporate a quote in every point that I made so that I could meet advanced criteria and also back up what I was saying with other people’s perspective.

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