During the second year of my Bachelor degree, I’ve been part of the Honours Programme. It’s helped me broaden my horizon by looking outside the school boundaries to opportunities in the community around me. It has also helped me combine school with a field I’m quite passionate about: health. I am not a Quantified Selfer myself, but I am very interested in the subject. So when I heard about a project I could join about reducing stress within my Institute, I jumped at the opportunity.
We created a concept for a mobile App, which helps you schedule your day. You can use it as a calendar, but if you want it to be a bit less intrusive, you can also just check it for handy tips on how to recognize when your stress levels are high, when you should take a break or if there are any fun sports events happening at the gym that you could join. It also has handy tips on how to keep healthy during your day. We combined the app with a few changes in the workplace. For example, we want to implement something called “the daily voucher”, which will be distributed once a week or month. It will give you a nice discount on something healthy from the cafeteria. We’ll also hang notes around the offices, with small tips or phrases to cheer you up or make you realize things. This can be anything from “Make sure you drink enough water!” to “Two pieces of fruit a day is good for you, but did you know you can OD on some vitamins?”
We’re still working on implementing the above idea, the concept is pending with the school board.
Besides that project, we’re also working in another team to organize a ‘Health Week’ on a primary school in town. The Health Week is intended to make children aged 4-12 more aware of the importance of exercise and a healthy diet. We want to do this by creating a scenario or plan of action for a school to follow in creating a Health Week each year. We’ll be available for support at any time, but our goal is to make it a recurring, independent, annual event on a primary school.
The activities that we will suggest in the scenario include visiting a restaurant’s kitchen with the elder children, or making healthy snacks at school with the younger ones. There will also be a sports day, in which children will be urged to think up a game for themselves. And as a more lasting idea, the school could create a vegetable garden for the children to tend.
All in all, the Honours Programme has been a healthy challenge for its duration. It’s unusual for a school to offer such an amount of freedom to their students, but the trust they placed in us was a rewarding experience. I enjoyed being able to combine things I love with school, like I did with healthy ageing during this programme. Being an Honours student has made me more critical towards myself, the people I work with and the institute I studied at. I’ve become more outspoken and, for better and for worse, more vocal towards my peers and teachers. My idea is that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, unless proven otherwise.
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