When I think back on my freshmen year of college, I think of a lot of imbalance. I remember being a clean freak in my dorm room, an avid yogi, a lover of healthy foods, and appreciative of a good night’s rest. But that was my inner self. The influences around me brought about another side of me that didn’t align with what I knew I needed. The endless pizzas, the lost hours of sleep from countless late-night parties and early-morning laughter — these were all fun, but when I think about it, I didn’t really have any other option. This was the lifestyle all around me, and though I’d sneak off for yoga, or bury myself in the library to study, I was highly swayed by this “fun.” I wonder if, had there been a dormitory at my campus designated for people seeking more balance, I would have chosen it, and if I had, how it would have changed my time.
At the University of Vermont, Burlington, a big dormitory is going up with room enough for 700 students next fall, and it’s designed with the health-conscious in mind.
The clean-living residence hall has zero-tolerance for drugs and alcohol, meaning one mistake and you’re out. But students who live here have access to fitness and nutrition coaches at the in-house gym, free violin lessons, yoga, and mindfulness training.