Courtesy of Wake Forest
The forest is alive again. Dogwoods are blooming, and leaves are beginning to return to branches across Wake Forest’s campus. The weather — the beginning of this week notwithstanding — has been lovely, and more and more students have been gathering outside to do homework, catch up with friends or just soak up the springtime sun.
In this time of renewal, we at the Old Gold & Black want to remind you to enjoy the spring. It is so easy to shut oneself up in a dorm, in the library or in another indoor study space to grind out that 10-page paper or six chapters of exam review. However, sunlight is important.
In a 2021 NIH study of university students, 85% of participants were found to have either Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Another 2014 NIH study also found that a majority of college students had low Vitamin D levels. Sunlight is not a silver bullet to solving this issue, but it can help students acquire a nutrient that helps with cardiovascular and physical strength.
For students with depression and anxiety, a 2009 NIH study found that sunlight contributed to increased cognitive function in impacted adults. Enjoying sunlight may not, as some suggest, cure mental health-related issues, but it may contribute to better management.
It has been years since students have been able to enjoy an unencumbered spring in the forest.
Students looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors more often can find a variety of Wake Forest-sourced opportunities. Campus Recreation, Outdoor Pursuits and Campus Garden are just some of the organizations that can help students get into the sun more.
Beyond on-campus organizations, students can venture out on their own to take advantage of the beautiful season and explore Winston-Salem. There is no need to venture far, as Reynolda Village and the trails provide a nearby escape from the hustle and bustle of college life. The coming sunny days offer the perfect opportunity to explore the trails — and maybe stop for a doughnut or crepe at the various dining options of Reynolda Village.
The last day of classes for the Spring 2022 semester is 29 days away. We encourage students to make the most of the beautiful spaces Wake Forest has to offer while they are still on campus, and we encourage everyone to enjoy, exult and relax in the springtime air.