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Students spend second Wellness Day on high ropes course, catching up on homework


Victoria Teachout climbs the rockwall in the Finch Fieldhouse Adventure Center on Feb. 22.

In the Finch Fieldhouse Adventure Center, Central Michigan University students got to spend their second Wellness Day flying high on the ropes course while others spent time catching up on homework.

Students were able to sign up for one-hour timeslots from 1-6 p.m. to climb rock walls, traverse a slackline and speed down a zipline. Time slots were limited to 20 people for an hour to align with COVID-19 guidelines. 

The event began with an introduction to the high ropes course and a short briefing on safe practices while on the course. Jordan Bruursema, the manager of the Adventure Seminars, described the practice of “challenge by choice,” where participants are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone only as far as they choose. 

“We’re excited to have life back in the facility,” Bruursema said. “It’s been pretty stagnant for the last nine months.” 

Jackson senior Victoria Teachout attended the event to have fun on the day off. She said she appreciates having the Wellness Days but misses having a dedicated spring break where she does not have to worry about homework. 

“I really like doing stuff like this,” Teachout said. “I like to try new things and be more physically active. The pandemic has shifted to watching movies and doing more inside things. It was honestly a nice way to get out and try something fun that’s really challenging.” 

A common theme among students in the Adventure Center was that they had assignments they needed to do later in the day. The university’s wellness days are meant to provide students with time off from schoolwork, but many students are taking the opportunity to catch up on work instead. 

Mount Pleasant sophomore Emilie Ehler said she finished writing a paper before coming to the Adventure Center. Junior Noel Schafer, also from Mount Pleasant, said she planned to work on assignments and take a nap later. 

Clinton Township senior Adam Samuel said he had to work after the event, but he likes that the wellness days give him a break from school in the middle of the week. 

The events were organized by Program Board, High Adventure Club, Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services, the Association of Recreation and Event Professionals and the Recreation Therapy Club.  

Bethany Childs and Claire Adams were tabling for AREP, the organization responsible for marketing and creating flyers for the event. Childs and Adams also had “tons of homework” to do later in the day. 

Josh Olszewski, a graduate assistant for Program Board, said that the RPL events such as the snowshoe hike from the first wellness day in February are something his organization wanted to see more of. 

“Thinking about really taking these wellness days for what they should be—wellness—we kind of figured what the heck, we have this facility as well, let’s give students an option to do something that’s going to benefit them and challenge them,” said Bruursema. 

The university will have five more wellness days filled with activities for students on March 10 and 23, April 2, 7 and 30.