Maintain You, Class of 2020

Maintain You, Class of 2020

As the class of 2020 approaches their new phase of life, some students are concerned about self-sufficiency while away at college. Students have the opportunity to create their own meals and schedules during their time at college, but it places responsibility on the individuals to maintain their health. They are going to be responsible for their own decision in all aspects of their daily routine. Despite the unfortunate circumstances of coronavirus, students still benefit from planning their college lifestyle to ensure stable physical and mental health.

It’s important to eat breakfast in the morning due to the fact that it aids concentration and productivity. It’s a great way to start off the day and set positive intentions for the day to come. Throughout the day, students should carry a water bottle to stay hydrated. The consumption of water suppresses one’s appetite which also reduces the chances of over-eating. According to Best College’s, The Student’s Guide to Nutrition, “college students should try to eat two-and-a-half to three cups of veggies and about two cups of fruit per day, throughout the day. Don’t let the amount intimidate you; this is equal to 12 baby carrot sticks, a decently sized salad, and two small pieces of fruit. [They] can also add veggies and fruits to salads or sandwiches.” It also states in the article that “whichever cooking style suits you best, always strategize your shopping and make a list after you’ve chosen your recipes. As you shop, stick to that list and avoid impulse purchases. Organize your shopping list by meal.”

The Student’s Guide to Nutrition provides a list of foods that are healthy for the average college student’s diet:

  • “Breakfast: Cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, whole-wheat bagels
  • Lunch: Sandwich ingredients, whole-grain bread, fruit. Take other cooking into account and plan to pack lunches with leftovers repurposed into salads and sandwiches.
  • Entrees: Fresh or frozen veggies, boxed rice, pasta side dishes and protein sources. Individually bag protein (chicken breasts, fish filets or ground beef servings), then freeze. Form ground beef into patties and freeze.
  • Snack foods: Popcorn, chips and salsa, hard boiled eggs, baby carrots and ranch dressing.”

 If a student does not feel like shopping or cooking for themselves, whether they are at a liberal arts school or a large university, the campus most likely has an all you can eat dining hall. College students, especially freshmen, find it overwhelming to be in charge of making their own food choices for the first time.

It’s quite important to have a session of exercise per day at college to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet. Instead of taking the bus or driving to class, try biking or walking instead. It will give a student a little bit of exercise between their courses. If they can or want to, sports are available at universities and they can become acquainted with their new classmates which will enable them to make new friends. Most schools provide students with gym facilities they can take advantage of for free. It’s best for a student to fit in a workout when they wake up and in between classes.

College students usually aren’t ones to go to bed early, but it is crucial for them  to receive a proper amount of sleep. If they have the time during the day, a short nap can do wonders for their energy levels. But, it’s best for them not to nap too close to bedtime or for too long, otherwise, it interferes with their sleep schedule: it can do their body good. While the amount of sleep each person needs varies, most people need about 7-9 hours to feel fully rested and productive. Students should try to go to sleep at the same time every night so their body gets used to it and it will become easier to fall asleep at the appropriate time. It may be difficult to adjust their sleep schedule around a busy daily life as a college student, but their body will benefit in the long run. 

As a college student, it is easy to get stressed over things, but it’s essential to eliminate the source of stress to be mentally healthy. If a student feels out of control with their schedule at times, they should get into the habit of studying, working out, and sleeping at certain hours: it will be easier to fit in all the things they need to do in a day without feeling too stressed out. They should also take breaks to work on hobbies or things they love to relax their brain, it’s key to not getting stressed out. If they’re feeling overwhelmed, students can reach out and ask for help from professors and friends. They may be able to give them more time or help them to complete projects and study more quickly. Don’t worry, there are always resources to eliminate stress, but the first step is recognizing the presence of stress. Be aware, stress can be a major factor in many students’ depression. If a student is feeling stressed out, they should take a break and set aside time to relax. 

The responsibility of a college student’s life is their own hands during the life of college or university, it is not to be reckoned with. Their body and mind is important and deserves to be cared for with self love and a balanced lifestyle. It’s okay to cheat sometimes: to sleep in, eat a brownie. Regardless, in the long run, their body will thank you for maintaining its health as well as their mind. Students should enjoy college, but think of themselves first and what is best for them.