As you most likely already know, last semester on campus was not a normal semester due to COVID-19, and definitely not normal in terms of exercise and fitness on campus. It was a different State College and one that we wished we would never have to see.
Walking by only ten different people on College Avenue on a Friday night was weird, sitting in a dorm room instead of eating lunch and studying with friends at the HUB was weird. Perhaps the worst part, no football weekends.
As one can see, it was not the same State College we all know and love, and unfortunately, it will most likely be the same way this spring semester — it will just be weird.
Another situation that is hard to believe actually occurred last semester is that in order to stay fit on campus, you needed to compete for a slot at the gym, and more specifically, at the Intramural (IM) Building on Curtin Road.
Once the IM Building reopened in September 2020, students across campus were excited to finally have the chance to hit the gym again instead of laying in their bed all day.
In order to open up, Penn State Campus Recreation planned for the IM Building to have students sign up for a time to go and a specific gym (such as a weight room or cardio gym) where they would workout ahead of coming to their workout session. However, the excitement was quickly shut down when students realized how difficult it was to reserve one of these spots to work out.
Jazzy Henriques, a freshman studying kinesiology, had lots of trouble reserving a spot at the IM Building.
“It’s so difficult. You literally have to be on the app [or] on the website on the dot, or else every single spot is taken,” Henriques said. “It’s so hard to get a spot because someone already took it.”
If she could not reserve a spot at the IM Building, she usually would exercise by walking around campus. Henriques went on to say she is planning on returning to campus this upcoming semester and that she is definitely going to try and use the IM Building again. If she is not able to reserve slots for her personal workouts, she believes will most likely use LionHeart Fitness in downtown State College.
Tom McClean, a freshman studying business undecided, has also tried several times to reserve a spot at the IM building.
“I always tried to sign up for the weight room slots and they were never available, and that was pretty frustrating,” McClean said.
In replacement, he would play basketball on the courts located at East Residence Halls, or play football in the field behind the East Housing buildings.
McClean plans on returning to University Park this upcoming semester, and he said that he is going to try to reserve spots at the IM Building again, but if it is difficult, he will stick to playing basketball and football.
Hopefully, by some force, it will be easier to sign up for slots at the IM Building this upcoming Spring semester, but students are coming back after New Years’ when so many people claimed that they plan to lose all their quarantine weight in 2021.
This being said, it may now be even more difficult to sign up for a slot at the IM Building, so make sure you are ready to sign up for your spot as early in advance as you can!