April 30th, 2015

What Pathways Means to Me

The William and Mary Pathways program has hands down been the most important thing I have done in my college career.

At first, it seems like it’s just a nice thing to do at the beginning of the year, and maybe eases some nerves before college starts in earnest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all of those things, but it’s also been so much more.

Pathways and the outdoor program set me up for success during my transition into real adulthood. A cliché way to say it, but it’s true nonetheless. My trip leaders not only taught me about the spirit of fellowship and community that The College embodies, but being in the outdoors instilled a sense of stewardship, pride, and love for my new home (being out of state, myself).

Then, of course, I became a trip leader. With that, there was a whole host of new qualities I took on, among other things; responsibility, leadership, all those things people love on resumes—but above it all, a passion for what I do.

College is a formative time for most, but Pathways sets the tone for the whole four years we’re here. Through Pathways and the outdoor program, I’ve met role models, best friends, a girlfriend, a man who takes butter in his hot chocolate, one who a little too closely resembles Yukon Cornelius (yes, that Yukon Cornelius), a dog named “Help,” I’ve been bitten by miniature horses, slept in haunted forests, stood on top of Virginia, and have truly had the most unique and significant experience that I think anyone could hope to have in this place.

So to me “what does pathways mean to you” is a really loaded question. I could talk about it for hours, and never truly get my point across. The only way to truly know what we’re all about it to get out here and do it.

Harry Hall


W&M Pathways is a pre-orientation program designed to provide incoming students with a unique opportunity to become integrated into the William & Mary Community through individualized outdoor experiences. To find out more about Pathways and William and Mary’s Tribe Adventure Program, go to: www.wm.edu/rec/tap

March 15th, 2015

So what IS healthy eating?

When we start to look at ways to improve our health, we usually start with what we put in our bodies. The foods we decide to eat play a strong role in our risks for certain diseases as well as how we meet our daily physical, emotional and mental requirements. Food is essential for our existence but it is the types of foods we eat that increase the risk of disease, cause weight gain, and make us feel less energetic, stressed and just plain lousy.  To understand how to balance the foods you eat to create a healthful dietary plan, a meeting with a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) may be just what you need for guidance and education for making healthy choices in your everyday life.

Campus Dietitians are RDN’s and are the “new thing” on college campuses. RDN’s are finding that we are needed far more than we realized. The students at The College of William and Mary daily deal with stress, erratic schedules, multi-tasking, and peer pressure, all of which make it difficult to eat at least one healthy meal per day, much less three. Students can also be so inundated with what the media says healthy foods are supposed to look like that we lose sight of how to truly eat healthy. As William and Mary’s Campus Dietitian, I provide a free service to the students and can help to sort through that nutritional maze by providing counseling on topics such as sports nutrition, weight loss/gain, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, IBS, dietary restrictions such as those for food allergies/intolerances or celiac disease, or just learning to eat healthy on campus.

I am so grateful to get to work with such an incredibly talented, intelligent, and focused group of people! Currently, I see students for individual counseling or for group presentations but both require an appointment. I can also be found as Campus Rec’s Right Bite Dietitian and you’ll find me twice a month at a table near the front desk. Upcoming dates Right Bite are Wednesday, March 18 from 5 – 6pm; Monday, April 6 from 4 – 5pm; and Wednesday, April 29 from 5 – 6pm. To schedule an individual appointment or to request a group presentation, please feel free to call my office at 757-221-4872, email me at jnance@wm.edu or stop by my table at The Right Bite at Campus Rec! Look forward to seeing you at the table!


Julie C. Nance, MS, RDN, CDE, BC-ADM



February 16th, 2015

New Year New You?

There’s something about January 1st of every year that makes me feel invincible. It’s as if unwrapping a brand new calendar convinces me that every old habit is gone, or that the possibilities for being a self-actualized human have never been more in my favor. And this year, this year, I’ll do everything I want to do.

Let’s get real, this isn’t going to happen.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think I’m a powerful human being and I can accomplish a lot if I’m willing to work for it, but the idea that I’m intrinsically different on January 1st, so much more capable than on December 31st, is a lie I exploit yearly. However untrue, it’s the type of lie I live with to make my life a little happier. Kind of like telling myself I could be Shakira’s background dancer if only given the chance, or that those fuzzy socks I love are not only comfortable but borderline sexy. Little lies are okay. But that little lie turns into a big problem when we transition from hopeful to obsessed.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my friends and fitness class participants convince themselves that this year, finally, they will look how they want to look. But what seems like a harmless goal so easily becomes unhealthy as people immerse themselves in a popular culture whose magazines, beauty products, and fitness regimens highlight your flaws and promise the impossible–perfection. The hottest thighs, biceps, abs, and butt are within reach: “New Year, New You”! While there are many merits to self improvement, there’s a difference between attainable, sustainable goals and getting hooked on impossible regiments that are supposed to change both your appearance and your confidence.

Put simply, my opinion is this: There is not a single physical exercise that will make you self-confident and happy. These are not external qualities, but have everything to do with mental health, self-acceptance, and self-love. From my personal experience as a human, I’m convinced your body can only be as healthy as your mind, and working toward a holistic health approach is crucial in maintaining the stamina necessary to making changes for a more physically healthy life.

Time and time again, research shows that weight loss and muscle toning that comes as a result of looks-based motivation cannot work in the long-term. How many times have we seen the super motivated friend who works out daily, loves it, wants that “bikini bod,” then loses motivation and never returns to the gym? How many times has that been you? This method cannot last, and instead leads to thoughts of inadequacy and disappointment.

Instead, this year, make your goals about YOU. Not who you want to look like, but the type of person you want to be. Hopefully, that’s a happier, healthier, more taken-care of version of yourself. Decide to find a workout you love, think about how great it’d be to climb the Morton stairs without losing your breath (a seemingly impossible feat). Resolve to be less stressed and use yoga as an outlet. Enjoy nature by running outside or feel like a beast during BodyCombat. Exercise because you’re strong, because you’re committed, because your body feels empowered when you use it. Most importantly, make fitness a goal because being yourself is something worth celebrating.

This year, start the change from within.


Joanna Hernandez

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