Staying healthy in college can be really tough, especially if you weren’t very health-conscious before you went to college. When I was in high school, my parents kept my meals pretty healthy and I also did sports for a few years, so I never had to think about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself. When I was a freshman in college, I realized that I couldn’t just eat my favorite meal of chicken fingers and french fries every night because that is really bad for your body, and it made me feel more tired as well. While the dining hall at my college does have a salad and fruit bar, that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be eating every single day. I found it to be really difficult to find food that I actually liked that were also healthy.
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One big thing I realized as a freshman was that I could buy my own healthy snacks to keep in my room. I went to target and got snack packs of apples and peanut butter, as well as some boxes of fruit, oatmeal, and some healthy granola bars. I also remembered to be fully stocked with water bottles at all times, as staying hydrated isn’t only good for your physical health, but it keeps you more awake and attentive too. Additionally, my skin always behaves better when I drink more water. Having more control over my midnight snacks definitely made me feel healthier. I also began to pick out healthier options at the dining hall. For example, instead of ice cream for dessert, I would have a bowl of fruit.
As far as exercise goes, I’m not really into fitness. By the end of the day, I’m honestly exhausted and I have piles of homework to do, so I can never really find time to go to the gym. I got an apple watch recently, and it made me more aware of how much I was actually exercising throughout the day. I thought I was in horrible shape, but it turns out that I walk at least 3 miles per day, and if it’s an especially hectic day, I walk even more than that. My campus is also completely comprised of hills, and I realized that my thigh muscles were actually more toned than they had ever been in my entire life. I try to not take any elevators, and I try to take every staircase that I come across, just to get a little extra exercise in between class. Also, my school offers semester workout classes that meet once a week, and I tried yoga just for fun, and I found that my stress level went down significantly.
As for mental health, yoga definitely helps my stress and anxiety. Also, for me, staying one step ahead in my school work decreases my stress as well. My anxiety gets especially bad when I’m not prepared for class, as it makes me extremely nervous that I’ll be called on and not know the answer. I always try to be prepared for class and I speak up in class at least once before the teacher can call on me. I also try to surround myself with the best people for me. These are people who will be there for me and support me no matter what I’m going through. Finding at least one person that is able to calm your anxiety or take your mind off of a bad day will make you feel better right away. I also try to talk to my parents and my sister once a day to keep me connected with my family. Having a strong family connection is really good for your mental health. Even if you FaceTime everyone for 5 minutes a day, I can guarantee that your day will be a little better.
My name is Emma Berry, I'm 20 years old and I am a junior at the College of the Holy Cross. I'm an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. I also joined the Pre-Business program, as I hope to get a job in the publishing field after I graduate. I basically run on iced coffee and when I have free time I love to just read or watch Netflix (and Game of Thrones).