College is all about balance and tradeoffs. Balancing assignments, exams, studying, internships, jobs, and an active social life, often lead to students deprioritizing their personal health. However, a student’s health is essential to achieving optimal success at school. Here are eight simple yet effective tips that will make college the healthiest and most worthwhile experience possible.
1. Get shots, don’t take shots. While living in close proximity to thousands of your peers is great for your social life, it is not so great for your health. Getting a flu shot is the simplest and quickest way to protect your health. Trust me, you do not want to be sick with the flu during finals week.
2. Fast food is a fast way to the ‘Freshman 15’. Campus life offers a lot of dining choices. And fast food is easy and convenient and sometimes a busy college students only option. However, fast food should be saved for when it is the only option. Instead, choose a lean meat, like chicken with a side of salad or vegetables.
3. Bring a water bottle everywhere. Hydration is essential. The easiest way to stay hydrated, is to make bringing your water bottle everywhere you go, a habit. Drinking water will also improve your skin, boost your concentration, and keep you from overeating. I use a sturdy metal bottle that is easy for me to keep in my backpack, without worrying about leaking or breaking.
4. Prioritize your sleep. Chances are you are not getting enough sleep. College is emotionally and physically draining. It’s essential that you get between seven and nine hours of sleep to improve brain function, limit fatigue, headaches, and weight loss or gain.
5. Perfect your diet with supplements. Chances are eating in your colleges cafeteria, doesn’t supply you with all the nutrients your body needs to thrive. No need to worry though—you can easily fill the holes with nutritional supplements!
6. Get (and use!) a day planner. Stress is inevitable and can lead to forgetting important dates or deadlines. Writing down exam dates, classes, field trips, etc. will make you less likely to forget them and will relieve a significant amount of stress.
7. Exercise and enjoy. Being active in college is simpler than your think. Go on a run around campus, hit the gym with your friends, or even join an intramural team. Not to mention physical activity is also a great stress reliever and is key for maintaining good mental health.
8. Keep healthy dorm snacks on hand. Make it easy to eat right. Do not stock your dorm room with junk food. If you do not have junk food in your room, you will not eat it—how could it be simpler? Instead, load up on healthy snacks like apples, almonds, or rice cakes. If you are truly hungry, fresh fruit or any other healthy snack will hit the spot.