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Bloom & Grow: The Benefits of Indoor Plants for College Students

WRITTEN BY Rachel Carpenter

A little dirt never hurt no one. That’s a common saying that can be applied to life in college.

Adjusting to the changes of going to college can be difficult, both mentally and physically, especially at the young age of 17 or 18. There are many ways people can ease this transition. One way is adding indoor plants to your dorm or home.

Indoor plants, or houseplants, have mental and physical benefits, making them a great addition to your place during college. You can even create a bond with the plants all while having a cute decoration for your space.

The study of plant and human relationships is not something that is relatively new. It has been discussed and researched for years and has even more significance with the introduction of technology in the 21st century.

According to Angela Cabotaje’s article in Right as Rain by UW Medicine, “researchers have studied the relationship between nature and human well-being for decades.”

Research shows that human interaction with plants offers many benefits. “Interacting with nature in some form can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, encourage faster healing and increase overall happiness,” Cabotaje said.

In the age of COVID-19, there are consequences to staying inside for long periods of time, such as “ailments like headaches, skin and sinus irritations, nausea and fatigue,” Cabotaje said.

Homework, labs and studying all cause students to stay indoors. Adding plants to your indoor space can help with any present illnesses, ailments and air contaminants. Plants have “the added bonus of helping to purify the air,” Cabotaje said.

Another study by Min-sun Lee and other scholars for the Journal of Physiological Anthropology talks more about the benefits of indoor plants.

“Contact with plants is an intuitive and nonverbal activity that can provide psychological stability and comfort by stimulating four senses in various ways … [plants can] reduce psychological stress, improve mood states, and enhance cognitive health,” the researchers said.

To study these benefits, the researchers wanted to see the actual data correlation between indoor plants and people by focusing on autonomic nerve system activity. Results showed that “the subjects felt comfortable, soothed, and natural” after interacting with the houseplants, with Lee and the other researchers citing that the houseplants had a “stress-reducing effect.”

Having indoor plants in your environment during college can help brighten your moods, relieve stress from classes and give you a pretty sight when you look up from typing a lab report.

As you go through your years of college, you find things that help you get through classes and make you feel better overall. One of those things could be simply adopting an indoor plant. Remember: a little dirt never hurt no one and it can even help you create a new hobby with indoor plants.