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12 Awesome American College Gyms Everyone Envies

12 Awesome American College Gyms Everyone Envies

Those thousands of dollars you’re paying to go to college often don’t go towards bettering your education. Instead, many universities use that massive influx of cash to build insanely complex gyms; gyms that would cause Arnold Schwarzenegger’s jaw to drop faster than you can say “get to da choppa!” Now, this is both super cool, and really distressing, since I’d bet the majority of college kids would rather have their books and room and board be free than have a gym worthy of your average millionaire. But I digress! Let’s suspend reality for a moment and just enjoy these ridiculously amazing college gyms.

1. University of Minnesota

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    Is it the pristine hardwood floor, or the wrap-around indoor running track that does it for me? I would have to say a little bit of both. These guys got so into their gym that they hired expert architects to do all sorts of fancy design tricks to keep you motivated while working out. The college I attended unfortunately did not have anything like this, and for that I shed numerous tears each night (not really).

    2. University of Missouri

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      I guess these folks wanted to make up for the fact that they’re nowhere near any oceans by decking out the aquatics portion of their gym to the absolute max. It looks more like an amusement park than your average sparsely decorated college aquatics facility. There’s even a lazy river, which is something you’d expect to find in Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, not at a college campus.

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      3. Ohio State

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        Oh how nice it is to go to a college with a big football program. Ohio State has an indoor football field in their gym, as well as a second level jogging track for students to utilize. Additionally, there’s more workout contraptions than you can shake a stick at. Oh, and lots of big windows too.

        4. University of North Dakota

          These guys are really enthusiastic about incorporating zen or mediation to their gym. It’s built to let in as much light as possible, and there are even rooms dedicated to quiet relaxation and yoga. I can actually see why this would be useful to your typical overworked and stressed college student. Bravo, North Dakota.

          5. University of California, Irvine

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            How cool is it to have a gym so awesome, that Kobe Bryant likes training there? Well, if you go to UC Irvine you know how that feels. Their gym is equipped with the best of the best in terms of quality and technology, and that means even professionals go there to hone their craft. I could have given you an image of some fancy cardio contraption, but this one featuring Irvine’s giant rock wall was more amusing.

            6. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly)

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              Along with priding itself as one of the only CSU schools to compete with the UCs in terms of educational value, Cal Poly also boasts a recreation center extensive enough (read: lots and lots of tennis courts) to compete against that of any college in the country. Looking at the pictures, I admit that I am a little bit jealous.

              7. University of Denver

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                You might think that living a mile high in the sky would be enough of a workout for these people, but you would be wrong. The gym at the University of Denver comes equipped with a hockey rink, as well as countless other amenities. They even have it divided into particular specialized zones so that you can get the best work out possible. I doubt it’s easy to find an out of shape student at this school.

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                8. University of California, Santa Cruz

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                  So maybe I’m biased in adding this one; oh well. Santa Cruz has a small gym compared to the rest of the schools on this list, but the views overlooking Monterey Bay are to die for. The jogging track is outdoors, unlike some of these ridiculously high tech gyms, but it serves its purpose and, again, you’re treated to a wonderful view. There’s also multiple pools, a basketball court, a soccer field, and plenty of tennis courts. Oh, and I guess this doesn’t really count as a “gym” amenity, but there’s super cool hiking trails everywhere. Not bad for a division three school!

                  9. Northwestern University

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                    Here is another one that doesn’t necessarily have a standout gym, at least compared to the other places on this list. The unique thing about Northwestern is that their recreaction center provides students with classes about health and nutrition, if they wish to take them. Considering Northwestern’s educational reputation, it’s no surprise that they’d try to infuse a bit of learning into the workout process.

                    10. University of Alabama

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                      Football is king in the south, and it shows in their dedication to their athletes’ gym. Endless rows of weight equipment. Multimillion dollar renovations. I hate to chime in here with a little bit of opinion, but if we took like 10% of the money used to pay for this stuff to reduce tuition, that would be pretty cool.

                      11. Purdue University

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                        I couldn’t find anything too out of the ordinary about this place except that they have tons of rock walls you can climb. Oh, and they spent nearly one hundred million dollars on renovating their recreation center. Those must be some super high tech rocks!

                        12. University of South Carolina

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                          Not to be confused with the more famous (or infamous) USC in California, the USC in South Carolina has a gym that’s just about full to bursting. What caught my eye is that their recreation center includes “five basketball and volleyball courts, five racquetball courts, a squash court, a soccer and floor hockey court, and a jogging track.” All indoors, remember. Five basketball courts. Five?! Now, if it’s those dinky little half courts that’s not too impressive, but if they mean five full-sized courts, well, don’t mind me while I go sit in a corner and wish I went there!

                          What do you guys think about these (for the most part) gaudy gyms? Are they useful facilities that help students succeed, or overpriced boondoggles? Comment below!

                          Featured photo credit: UCSC Gym/ Samuel Swayze via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                          18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                          18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                          The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                          1. Understand Yourself Better

                          Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                          Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                          2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                          I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                          Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                          3. Become Aware of What Matters

                          As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                          You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                          4. Boost Creativity

                          The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                          When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                          You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                          5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                          A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                          Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                          6. Process Life Experiences

                          When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                          Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                          7. Stress Relief

                          In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                          Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                          8. Provide Direction

                          Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                          One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                          9. Solve Problems

                          Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                          Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                          When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                          10. Find Relief From Fighting

                          Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                          Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                          11. Find Meaning in Life

                          Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                          12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                          Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                          13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                          When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                          14. Let the Past Go

                          I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                          15. Allow Freedom

                          Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                          16. Enhance Your Career

                          Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                          Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                          17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                          All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                          18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                          No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                          We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                          Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                          Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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