Colloquium Essay

Chris Marzec IDS 3920 Lankenau 9/18/2012 What if I was to tell you that being active outside and not being confined in your home, as a child, would make you a better student. In a Times Magazine World online article, they said, “Physical Activity can improve blood flow to the brain, fueling memory, attention and creativity, which are essential to learning. And exercise releases hormones that can improve mood and suppress stress, which can also help learning. ” (Park) Now ask yourself, when you were younger, did you enjoy playing outside and running around with your friends?

To the other side of that, were you the type of kid that stayed inside and didn’t go outside that much? Back when I was younger, I definitely looked forward to going outside during school and when I got home. I hated being stuck inside and watching television all day. I just had to get outside, run around, play sports, and be adventurous. In today’s times, I feel like it’s the exact opposite. Seeing my younger sister grow up, I have noticed a complete difference in the way she spends her time compared to mine.

Maybe it’s just the fact that I was a young boy but it’s definitely different. I have noticed that her other friends are still a lot more active, athletic, energetic, and happy. She just wants to sit inside all day, draw, play Nintendo, listen to music, and acts all down. Maybe the outdoors isn’t her thing but she does not have the energy that other kids have around her. My parents have even noticed a difference. My mom told me, “Your sister just isn’t the same when it comes to physical outdoor activity to how you were as a kid.

She is a sweet and great girl but is not as active as other kids are these days. ” When I was in school, recess was definitely something to look forward to. I used recess as a way to distress myself from the schoolwork that we had and everything else. It was a mini get away from school, grades, and teachers. Every single one of my friends got so excited for going out to the park that was across from our school. We had a playground, gazebo, field, and a full street that was blocked off. We all either played tag, football, or kickball in the street.

Don’t worry it was completely safe with parents that volunteered to watch us and keep us safe. Richard Louv wrote, “Even as school districts decreased students experiences beyond the classroom walls, they increased the number of school hours. Ironically, the detachment of education from the physical world not only coincided with the dramatic rise in life-threatening childhood obesity but also with a growing body of evidence that links physical exercise and experience in nature to mental acuity and concentration. (University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future pg. 2) Another thing that I found interesting in the Times Magazine World article was this: “Researchers in the Netherlands report that children who get more exercise, whether at school or on their own, tend to have higher GPAs and better scores on standardized tests. ” My mom, who is a teacher in Naples, FL, definitely agrees with this quote. She went on about how children who are stuck inside learn how to do one thing and that is to sit around, play games, and browse the Internet.

They do not learn the proper way to run around, socialize with others, and develop vital skills that we need in an outdoor environment. We all need to exercise in a way whether that is playing tag during recess, being involved in sports, or being active outside. I did not realize it at the time but nature and being outside was a huge asset to me when we grew up. I was able to go home play ball, run around with my friends, and play on the playground. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a big city like Chicago, where I was from.

Being able to have recess back then was a privilege. It should definitely still be in a child’s school curriculum. From the facts above, it helps kids progress into smarter students and sets them up the years ahead of them. Nature, itself, is a very calming and relaxing environment. It keeps us stable and sane. Nature plays a vital part in our lives whether we realize it or not. It helps us distress for a little and maintain ourselves. All it takes is a nice walk outside to recollect our minds. We shouldn’t have to be confined in the walls of our school to become better students.

We would not be the way we are without nature and it’s beautiful surroundings. We shouldn’t take for granted our environment but we should take more time to appreciate how much better our lives are with nature. References Park, Alice. “The Reason for Recess: Active Children May Do Better in School. ” Time. Time, 16 Jan. 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2103732,00. html>. Louv, Richard. Excerpt from Last Child in the Woods. “Nature-Deficit Disorder and the Restorative Environment. ” University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future. 2011.