Staying Healthy, the College Way

  1. Watch what you eat: Now I know this is easier said than done, but being careful of what you eat is the best way to avoid that dreaded freshman 15.  It’s so tempting to fill up your plate with that amazing looking taco salad and snag a seven-layer bar on your way out of the dining hall, but eating like that won’t keep you healthy.  Snacking is another huge problem in college.  Now I know that I shouldn’t be lecturing since I’m sitting here eating Goldfish, but it’s important to stock your dorm room with healthier snacks.  If you’re someone who doesn’t like to snack, more power to you, but the rest of us can avoid adding those lbs simply by switching out what we snack on.  Fruit and veggies are always a good option
  2. Exercise: I can’t say enough about how important this one is.  For a lot of college students, working out is something that doesn’t become an important part of their lives.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed sometimes with the 50 pages you have to read for your poly sci class and the project you still need to finish for journalism, but exercise keeps you in shape while raising endorphin levels that make you happy.  If you’re like me and don’t like going to the gym, find an exercise class that you’d like to attend.  I find that since I enjoy classes like yoga, hip-hop, and Zumba, I’m more likely to work out which is always a plus.
  3. Sleep: Getting enough sleep in college can be tough.  There are piles of homework and you study way more than you ever did in high school.  Especially on the weekends, there are parties to go to at the frat houses and all over campus if you know where to look.  Sleep needs to be a priority in your life in order for you to stay happy and healthy.  Every body is different and you need to follow what works best for you.  For me personally, I know I need about eight hours of sleep to function so I try my best to achieve that.  Not only will your schoolwork be better with enough sleep, you will feel more rested and be less likely to get sick.
  4. Balance your social life with your homework: As tempting as it is to hang out in your next-door neighbor’s room and have a Dance Moms marathon when you should be taking notes for psychology, it isn’t a good idea.  It is important to maintain a balanced life between your free time and work time.  My best tip for this is to maximize your productivity between classes.  I try to head to the library if I have a one to two hour break between classes to get homework done.  It’s easier to focus in the library because it’s quieter and there are fewer distractions than in your dorm room.  If you take advantage of this time, you’ll be free when your friends want to hang out in the evenings and you won’t feel so stressed.

 Let us know what your tips are to stay happy and healthy in college!

Jennifer Gardner

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