Why joining "The Flock" is good for your health

| November 3, 2021

As campus has reopened, Blue Jay fans have flocked to the stands during this exciting fall sports season. With the athletes dominating their opponents, fans’ cheers radiate throughout the gym, field, or pool.

The Hopkins student section, dubbed “The Flock,”is not only filled with cheering fans, but also engineers, writers, club presidents, dancers, other athletes, grad students, musicians, and so much more. With all of the commitments Hopkins students have, these folks still carve out time for fun and cheering on their fellow Blue Jays. The Flock packs the nest of Homewood not only to express pride in their school but also to have a good time.

So how does “packing the nest” benefit the Hopkins community and you personally?

  1. There are positive health benefits. There is growing evidence that attending sports games have positive benefits on fans’ health. A study done in Japan found that participants who had attended at least one sporting event in the past year were 33% more likely to report a higher level of self-rated health. Going to games can also increase dopamine levels in your brain and decrease your risk for depression and anxiety. Plus, cheering for our very successful Hopkins teams is always fun and a great way to reduce stress.
  2. It builds community. Games are a perfect opportunity to build a sense of belonging within the Hopkins community. Having a common goal or purpose brings people together and helps to create camaraderie between fans. Sports are great for building community because everyone is rooting for the same thing. So at the next game, get to know the fans around you and cheer for Hopkins together.
  3. It’s free, available, and on the Homewood campus. All Hopkins home athletics competitions are free for students (including lacrosse!). The fields and facilities are two-minute walk from the freshman quad (or a five-minute walk from Interfaith Center stop on the Homew00d-JHMI-Peabody shuttle route if you’re coming from another campus). Hopkins sports provide something to do with friends that is readily available, nearby, and free. And especially with the weather we have had the last few weekends, they’re also great for spending time outdoors and getting some Vitamin D.
  4. Taking breaks from your responsibilities is important. Research shows that taking study breaks anywhere from five to 60 minutes can promote productivity, increase your energy, and improve your ability to focus. Sports are a perfect activity for a break from your responsibilities because there are games every weekend, they are a specific length of time so you can plan your schedule around them, and they are a good alternative to scrolling through TikTok. Again. And not only are games a good study break, watching sports also may help you absorb and digest information better. Seems like a win-win for everyone.
  5. It just might make you smarter.study from the University of Chicago found that being a sports fan may improve brain function. They reported that watching sports affects your language comprehension by creating neural networks in areas of your brain associated with planning and action. While games may not be the only thing you need to get an A, it can’t hurt to try right?

For more info on game times, giveaways, and all things Blue Jay, follow @jhu_theflock on Instagram.

On any given weekend there’s always something going on at the Nest. And because of the success of this year’s fall sports teams, this weekend (November 6 and 7) Hopkins will be hosting Centennial Conference tournaments for men’s soccer, women’s soccer, field hockey, and volleyball, as well as our last home football game. Hope to see you there!