So you finally made it to college! You are well on your way to becoming an adult and you now have lots of new responsibilities. Mom won’t be there to make sure you get up on time or demand that you go to bed at night. It will be up to you to clean your room, get to classes on time and do your homework. Well, there is another responsibility you will have that most people don’t really think about; eating properly.
With all your new responsibilities you will be busier and more stressed than you probably have ever been. Making time to eat is an obvious no brainer, if you get hungry, you will eat. The problem is that most students don’t give much thought as to what they eat. The deck is stacked against you making good choices regarding what you eat. You probably live in a dorm and only have a microwave in your room. You don’t have a lot of time or the facilities to prepare proper meals. This leads to you eating whatever you can microwave in your room or can eat out of a bag or can. Lots of Ramen and Campbell’s soups, Doritos, Jell-O Pudding packs, Lunchables, Little Debbie snack cakes, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and processed lunch meats. These foods are typically high in calories, fat and sodium. When these foods are in your room and you are up late studying and feeling a little stressed it is very easy to munch away. Over a period of time all those calories and salt will add up and you will start adding pounds and raising your blood pressure. To “save yourself from yourself” you need to put a little effort in deciding what food to keep in your room.
Try keeping these foods in your room. A bag of apples or oranges are only a couple of bucks and will last for weeks. Banana’s will last a week and are also inexpensive. Look for soups that have reduced salt and low fat. For sandwiches, spend the extra fifty cent and get whole wheat bread and get the person in the deli to slice up some fresh turkey breast instead of buying the prepackaged luncheon meats. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise on your sandwiches. Avoid all those “cheese like” products and get some Provolone or Swiss from the deli. Yogurt is a great snack and choosing frozen yogurt instead of ice cream can make a huge difference in your daily caloric intake. Throw on a semi-clean shirt, pull your hair into a pony tail and trek on over to the cafeteria or dining hall instead of ordering take out Chinese food or pizza.
Take advantage of the great facilities your school has to offer. There are lots of activities for you to participate in at school. Intramural soccer, basketball, softball and tennis are great examples of ways to not only get exercise but make new friends. Join a club and go camping or hiking. Remember you are now at college and it’s time to step outside of your comfort zone and try new activities. Maybe you have never went rock climbing your entire life, but you can grab a friend and go on a weekend rock climbing excursion sponsored by the rock climbing club. Part of college is to expand your knowledge and expose yourself to new ideas and experiences. Colleges and Universities generally have terrific work out facilities and swimming pools. As a student you get to use those for free, take advantage of it!
The last thing I want to talk about is drinking. Keep in mind that it is up to you to drink responsibly. Moderation is so important that I cannot stress it enough. You are in college now so you don’t need any lectures on peer pressure. Just remember that your whole life can be turned upside down from one instance of over indulging. DUI, car accidents, unplanned pregnancies, missed classes from hangovers and poor health are all things that can happen from one night of not acting responsible with alcohol. Keep your partying in check! You are spending a lot of money to go to college, don’t waste it by being a party animal! In conclusion, you are not destined to gain unwanted weight while you are off at school. Just think about your food choices and have a great time at school!