The title of my Interdisciplinary Studies major is Exercise and Psychological Sciences. The focus of my major is encompassing all aspects of exercise and sport while also focusing on the mental health aspect of sport. I chose my courses to understand the following:
- Bio-mechanics of movement
- How to teach and instruct exercises
- Psychological theories and models regarding athletes in an individual and team setting
- How to create exercise plans
- Today’s mental health issues
- The many mental health disorders as outlined by the DSM-5
- Anatomy and physiology of the human body
- Effects of mental health on athletes
I fused many disciplines together such as psychology, exercise, biology, communications, and sport administration. This fusion of disciplines has led me to pursue graduate school in sport administration with a focus in intercollegiate athletics with the hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in sport psychology.
I decided to an applied project in conjunction with Residential Life at Plymouth State University because I am very interested in working with college students in a higher education system. Working with the staff in Blair Hall I was able to reach out to students and staff in order to create an improved Blair Fitness Facility. This contributed to my education in many ways and allowed me to explore all aspects of exercise, psychology, and administration. I was able to create and promote a variety of programs and other material among the facility as well as come up with plans to improve the facility. This gave me a great opportunity to take initiative and have a hands-on experience within my field of education.
For my research article I chose to explore the effect of eating disorders on college athletes both female and male. The reason on focused on this topic is because I am passionate about both mental health and exercise as well as this is a rising issue in athletics. As a volleyball coach and collegiate player, I see athletes every day struggle with a variety of issues especially self-confidence. Self-confidence can lead to a variety of issues as outlined in my research article, however, eating disorders is one of the most prominent issues that can arise. This enhanced my educational experience because I was able to research something that I am very passionate about and then share it with others. I believe my work was able to start conversations with others and hopefully reduce the stigma around these issues.
My program courses paired very well with both my applied project and research article. My many comprehensive and detailed courses prepared to not only research and understand these complex topics and issues, but to talk about the topics professionally and without judgement. This impacted my education greatly and empowered me to move forward with my education and career. These courses and educational experiences have encouraged me to pursue graduate school and continue to help and advocate for athletes struggling with mental health.