Ready to get healthy? These three easy tips will get you started!
Managing your own sleep is one of the hardest things about moving away from home. Most of us either get too little (staying up way late and then having to crawl out of bed for class) or too much (sleeping in past noon on the weekends… or weekdays?!). But the key to a strong immune system and a healthy amount of energy is simply to get the right amount of shut-eye.
On average teens need 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep–some need a little less than that. If you’re not hitting your magical number of sleep hours, you could have trouble getting up, fall asleep in class, feel low-energy, and even show signs of depression. So get to bed a little earlier–or schedule your classes to start a little later–but do whatever it takes to get your body the rest it needs.
ReFRESH Your Diet
Sorry, that was cheesy. But once you’re done rolling your eyes at me, start thinking about how you can get more fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. Varying your produce can actually be a really easy way not only to keep your calorie intake low but also to help ensure you’re getting the variety of vitamins and nutrients your body needs to keep up with late night study sessions. (Sites like Fruit and Veggie Guru can tell you how to vary your fruits and veggies by color for optimal healthiness.)
Think you can’t eat fresh at the caf? Try mixing up lunchtime by hitting the salad bar, grabbing a piece of fruit with your cereal, or adding veggies like lettuce, onions, olives, or tomato to your deli sandwiches.
Make a Bet
I’m not going to lie–I am not the biggest fan of exercising: it’s tough, it takes time, it can get really boring, and it usually hurts!
While I’ve tried to get myself motivated on my own, I usually find my workout days dwindling within a few weeks. And that was when my sweetie suggested we make a bet–a nice cash prize for whoever could work out 6 days a week the longest. We’ve made it almost a month, and I’m doing better than I’ve ever done.
You probably don’t want to shell out your hard earned cash, but getting a friend or two involved in your workout–and maybe betting a chore or a dining-hall-cash meal to sweeten the deal–can have a huge influence on your motivation for exercise! Plus working out with someone else is much more fun–you might not even notice that you’re “feeling the burn.” 😉
Want to learn more about health at school? Check out this article (with tons of link love to helpful sites) about how to (really) stay healthy in college.
October 18th, 2010
1. If You Need Help, It’s Probably Available. Mom and Dad may not be just down the hall anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help when you need it. Most campuses have set up great support systems for their students.
Trouble with academics? Talk to an academic adviser, look in to free tutoring (offered on many campuses), or stop by your professor’s office hours. Feeling sick, homesick, or overwhelmed? Head to the campus medical clinic and ask about seeing a doctor or counselor. Many schools have support groups for students in all different types of situations, too. Can’t figure out the laundry thing, or want a recommendation for a fun off-campus excursion? Talk to your resident advisor (RA)!
2. Watch Your Wallet. It’s easy to get swept up in the swirl of social events and the freedom of managing your own cash, but don’t get spendy too quickly! According to an article at our sister blog, the Pay for College Blog, the average college student has over $3,000 in credit card debt–and that is on top of the debt you may already be racking up in student loan debts.
But don’t worry–you can definitely take control of your cash flow. Learn more about managing your finances and learning to budget here, and consider whether you should get a job during the school year.
3. Plan Your Time. One of the trickiest parts of adjusting to college is discovering how different it is from high school. Your class schedule can be different every day of the week, your professors probably aren’t taking role in every class, and you might even find yourself with huge hour blocks with nothing scheduled–or even entire class-free days. Building yourself a schedule can help you make time for a job, social life, study time, and all those to-do list items in between.
While you’re at it, learn how to create an easy semester study calendar so you don’t get (too) behind in class.
4. Get Involved. If this is your first time away from your family, friends, and everything familiar, homesickness is bound to strike at some point. Getting involved in your college community can help you beat homesickness, make new friends, and (bonus) give you something new to add to your resume. Talk to your RA to find out what kinds of clubs, religious groups, service organizations, and other activities you can get involved with on or near campus, and give a few of them a shot.
And remember–be active when it comes to meeting new people. Even the simple act of leaving your door open when you’re in your room can help you get to know the other students on your floor.
5. Have a Little Faith. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but have a little faith in yourself. College is a big, exciting, and often overwhelming experience, so give yourself time to adjust. The campus may seem huge, but you will learn your way around. The same applies for new roommates, classes, and friendships: give yourself time to learn and adjust, and be patient! All your freshman peers are feeling the pressure, too.
October 11th, 2010