Healthy Habits for College Life

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HI everyone!! Happy winter break for all my fellow students out there! I can't believe Christmas is less than a week away....there is so much cooking that needs to go down in my house between now and then. I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT IT. YES.  So it's that time of year again when the seniors in high school start getting accepted into early decision & early action schools, and I wanted to say a HUGE congratulations to those of you who've gotten into places. That's so amazing! You did it! My sister just got into her ED school, and I couldn't be happier for her. She works so hard! She's going to Bates, a small, rural, outdoor-sy, liberal arts school (a.k.a. a much different college than Northeastern...which makes sense because we're such opposites!). 

And for those of you who haven't gotten in to places you might have wanted to - there's still SO much time left, do not fear! This time two years ago, I was deferred from Northeastern, the school that I go to now. Very good things are coming your way - I'm sure of it. 

A few days ago, I finished the first semester of my sophomore year in college. Seriously WHOA. Am I getting old?? Where is the time going? I've enjoyed my college experience so far, but even better than that, I've learned so much about taking care of myself while living away from home; I think it's incredibly important to make health a priority in college. I know that the supposed "culture" during these years goes something like this: study, party, order pizza & Insomnia cookies at 1AM, sleep in late...but that type of schedule is one I don't totally jive with. It can work for some and make them happy, which is totally cool! For me, I've found that I'm happiest when I can maintain a good study & sleep schedule, go to the gym 5-6 days a week, watch Scandal, get brunch with my friends, and bake & cook as often as possible. I definitely have a different college lifestyle than others, and by no means is there a "perfect" way to do college. I've simply figured out what works well for me, and I'm content with it! 

There are, however, many ways to stay healthy in college that are applicable to several different lifestyles (and not just my own). I know I've only been at Northeastern for a little while so far, but I certainly have learned a lot. And I'm excited to share my tips with you guys!! I've compiled them into an infographic below, and I've also written them out in this post (that might be easier to read? I don't know. I like to give options!). 

You can grab the printable version of the infographic here. Enjoy, friends!! 

Healthy Habits for College Life

HEALTHY HABITS FOR COLLEGE LIFE 

EXERCISE 

  • Go to the gym with your friends or roommate(s); it’s a good way to stay accountable about exercising and make friends! 
  • Take a walk outside for a study break. 
  • Want to workout before classes in the AM? As soon as you wake up, put your workout clothes on. Then there’s no going back! 
  • Instead of running on the treadmill, head over to a local park, outdoor track, playground, or empty soccer field for an outdoor workout. 
  • As a freshman, I was scared of my school’s gym because of all of the intense-looking athletes and weight lifters. If you’re a little intimidated by it like I was, go there in the early morning (when many less people are there), and just look around, try some new machines out, and figure out where in the gym you like to workout. This definitely helped me be more comfortable at the new gym!

LIVING 

  • Set an alarm for going to bed at a reasonable hour - studying is important, but so is your SLEEP!! 
  • Feeling tired in the morning before your 8 AM? Do some jumping jacks or lunges to wake yourself up! 
  • Instead of checking social media & texting before bed, do something relaxing such a reading a book/magazine, or writing 
  • Try the 50-10 rule for getting work done: set a timer, study for 50 straight minutes, and then take a 10 minute break. Get up, walk around, talk to your friends, have a good snack. Repeat!    
  • Remember: it’s just as important to treat yourself once in a while as it is to make healthy choices. 
  • If you have a long day of classes (with minimal breaks), make sure to pack a healthy + filling snack or two in your backpack. The worst feeling is being so hungry that you can’t focus on your work! 
  • Every time you get a twinge of stress (whether from a stressful social or academic situation), stop whatever you’re doing and take five deep breaths. 

FOOD 

DINING HALL 
    • Load up your plate with veggies and greens from the salad bar before getting other food 
    • When ordering eggs or an omelette, ask for real eggs or egg whites 
    • Olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar is a great salad dressing option! 
    • Check to see if your dining hall has simply grilled chicken or fish for dinner; it’s an  easy, clean way to get some protein in 
    • Dessert idea in the d-hall: apple + peanut butter + raisins
    • My school has a great dining hall website where you can see all of the ingredients that are jn the prepared foods that are being served at each meal. THIS was extremely helpful, as I have a bunch of food allergies! (For my fellow Northeastern students: the site is http://nudining.com/Residential-Dining
HEALTHY DORM SNACKS 
  • apples, bananas, oranges, baby carrots, avocados
  • Wholly Guacamole packets
  • Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee 
  • Paleonola’s Grain-Free Granola
  • Artisana Organics Almond Butter or Justin’s Almond Butter/Peanut Butter squeeze packs (tastes great on banana)
  • Larabars 
  • Raw nuts & seeds
  • Have a microwave? Buy a sweet potato, pierce a bunch of holes in it with a fork, and heat it up on a microwave-safe dish for 5 to 9 minutes. Voila! 
  • 80% dark chocolate 
GROCERY SHOPPING 
  • Shop around the edges of the store first - that’s where all of the fresh produce is going to be 
  • If you’re easily tempted by the cookie/treat aisle or bakery section, just avoid it completely. Provide yourself with zero reasons to go near it, if that’s what helps you! 
  • Flick the brown spot off the top of an avocado; if underneath it’s bright green, that avo is ready to be eaten! 
  • Frozen berries make the best smoothie ingredients 
  • Go in with a LIST, and stick to it!! This can help you to stay on track with your budget and healthy eating