From credit hours to yoga, you pay for it all

Alexandra Mosquera Netzkarsch/ Columnist

Students and their parents invest an astronomical amount of money in post secondary education, although they are paying for much more than just a college diploma.

There are many benefits included with having student access to a University facility. Some of these perks include a gym membership, weekly fitness classes and access to an Olympic-size swimming pool like the one at the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus Recreation Center — at no additional cost.

Yes, students pay for these services with their activity and service fee each semester, so they are not really free. But because they are obligated to pay, students might as well take advantage of all the services available to them.

Since starting at FIU last fall, I’ve participated in Get Fit Boot Camp, Yoga and Brazilian Body Lift classes. I’ve participated in the Splash and Dash, a partnered kayak and run race at BBC, and I workout in the BBC Rec Center almost every day. However, I know some students paying for the same services have not been as outgoing as me.

Group X fitness classes in the BBC Rec Center, in addition to gym equipment, pool access, and several other recreational activities, are included in student fees — and as an international student paying triple the amount as an in-state student, I am sure to take advantage of these extras every semester.

When I first participated in Get Fit Bootcamp, I ended up loving the participants and the trainers teaching the class. The University students and staff who attend these classes regularly have made an enormous progress, noticeable in their endurance and their physique. After each class, I am pumped with adrenaline and eager to make gains in the next class — something not as commonly experienced after a two-hour lecture.

There are a variety of classes students can choose from. Some are cardio focused exercises, while others help develop strength and balance. The point is, there is something for everybody. The problem I think is, not enough students know about the recreation classes and services offered to them each semester, or they are just not interested.

Some students may not use the gym or other campus recreation services because FIU is a commuter school. Most students live off-campus and perhaps have a gym close to home — giving them no incentive to return to campus after sitting in a classroom all day.

But for the price students are paying to go to college, they should try earning more than just grades.

College is a place to strengthen your mind, but also your body — which is the rec center’s mission. BBC’s Rec Center offers various programs to help students challenge themselves physically and mentally, which is the reason why most attend college in the first place.

Exercise helps me manage stress levels, and helps me find a balance between my courses every semester and the daily responsibilities associated with being a college student. Being surrounded by students working toward the same health and scholastic goals as myself forms a community of support to help achieve my full potential.

Using rec center services, and others available to me through spiked tuition and fees, helps me focus on my studies, enjoy my college experience, and get the most bang for my buck.

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