11 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy In College

11 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy In College

Keeping up with your health doesn't have to be so difficult.

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When stressing about classes, homework, and midterms, it's easy for college students to neglect their health and overall well-being. While staying on top of your health doesn't have to involve any major life adjustments, small changes can go a long way.

1. Start off every morning with something to eat

There's a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day! While no one enjoys cutting down on sleep, waking up an hour early to get food before class will keep you energized throughout the day. And if you're running late, keep it simple by grabbing a fruit and yogurt on the way to class.

2. Make the most out of dining hall food

Sure, it's not ideal eating the same five foods for every meal, but even the scarcest of dining halls have healthy options available. You don't have to like everything offered, but take advantage of the salad bar and fruit stand to see what works for you.

3. Hydrate

Drink lots of water! Carry a water bottle with you to class and make sure to refill it throughout the day. And if you get tired of drinking the same thing every day, add in some watermelon chunks or lemon slices for extra flavor.

4. Stock up on healthy snacks

No one wants to walk to the dining hall when it's 30 degrees out or it's past midnight, so it's important to keep some healthy snacks on you at all times. Carry some granola bars in your backpack and keep a pack of yogurt in your fridge.

5. Cut down on soda and other caffeinated drinks

Yes, there's a soda machine in the dining hall and some cold Sprite would taste great right now, but constantly drinking unhealthy drinks will only hurt you in the long run. Stick to healthy drinks and if you're really craving caffeine, try and limit your Starbucks trips to a couple times a week.

6. Try and stick to a routine

College is chaotic, and trying to keep a routine is difficult. However, sticking to a schedule can reduce stress and can aid in attempts to be healthy.

7. Exercise

Make time in your schedule to get in some sort of physical exercise. Lift weights at the gym or go outside for a quick run if the weather is nice. Workouts don't have to be extremely time-consuming or strenuous, but the endorphin rush will leave you feeling happier and more energized.

8. Take your vitamins

It seems almost insignificant, but taking vitamins daily is a quick and easy way to keep up with your health.

9. Sanitize regularly

Wash your hands! Flu season is just around the corner and no one wants to end up in bed sick. Keep up with your hygiene and take all necessary precautions to make sure you don't get sick.

10.  Get enough sleep

As a college student, sleep may sound like a foreign concept, but getting a good amount of sleep EVERY night is so important. Try going to sleep at a reasonable time so that you wake up more refreshed and ready to learn.

11. Take time to de-stress

Staying healthy is about more than physical health, as mental health is just as important. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed, take time to do something that relaxes you. Whether it be meditating or writing in a journal, find a way to calm your mind.

Being in college comes with a new set of responsibilities, and it can seem impossible to stay on top of your health. It's okay to indulge every once in a while or take time off for yourself. The most important thing is finding things that work for you and make you happier.

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We ALL Have Some Kind Of Disability, Even If We Don't Acknowledge It

Sometimes we fail to recognize our disabilities simply because we have learned to live with them; yet, we criticize those who have visible disabilities even though they too have learned to live with them.
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Many of us have probably heard the famous saying: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

What many of us probably don’t realize is how true this may be in our own lives.

Everyone has something that may disable them from doing things that others can do.

Disabilities can be physical or mental. Maybe you have asthma, a speech impediment or a phobia. While these things may disable individuals from doing certain tasks, these are all disabilities that one can learn to easily live with.

Other disabilities are more visibly noticeable, such as limb amputations, lung diseases that require one to use an oxygen concentrator or scoliosis.

Regardless of how visible our disabilities may be, we need to recognize that we all have things that may disable us.

Notice that I said, “may disable us.” This is where "turning lemons into lemonade" comes into play. Just because something has the potential to disable us doesn’t mean that we must let it do so.

Yes, there will be things that we may be physically unable to do regardless of how hard we try. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot find ways to adapt. Humans can be stubborn and that’s not a bad thing.

Stubbornness may allow us to overcome our disabilities.

My grandmother had three amputation surgeries last summer, the last being a below-knee amputation. I have quickly learned where my stubbornness comes from as I have watched her recover.

She has quickly learned to adapt to the new methods she must use to do daily tasks such as moving around the house.

My grandmother has learned how to live her life as if nothing has changed; it is as if she does not even have a disability.

It is easy to see that my uncle, David, is physically different than the average person. His Down Syndrome causes him to be shorter, and he has distinct facial characteristics that differ from the average person.

What you may also notice, if you meet David, is that he doesn’t let these physical differences dictate his life. If you asked him, David wouldn’t know that anything is different with himself. It’s not that he has been sheltered from the fact that he is different.

He simply has learned how to live with his differences and has family members that are willing to support him.

One of my friends has Spina Bifida and, sadly, has faced unjust situations because of their disabilities. As a college student, it is very difficult for my friend to find transportation to classes.

One transportation company will only provide their services when an individual lives 500 feet from a bus stop; unfortunately, my friend does not.

Nevertheless, my friend is resilient and is taking online courses so that they may further their education.

I dare to say that everyone has something that may disable them. However, I also dare to say that many individuals do not recognize their disabilities simply because they have learned to adapt.

If everyone has something that may disable them, why do we criticize those whose disabilities are more visible?

I challenge you to reflect on your own life. Reflect on the things that may disable you. Reflect on how you have overcome the things that try to disable you. Reflect upon the judgment that you have unjustly given others due to their disabilities.

It is easy to laugh at someone else when they are struggling with something that we could easily do ourselves. But it is difficult when we are the ones being laughed at.

The next time you consider criticizing someone else because of their disabilities, remember that you, too, have things that may disable you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Whatever (Or Whoever) Rejects You Makes You Stronger

College and rejection go hand in hand.

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It happens every time: the same sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach while your eyes skim over the words "We regret to inform you…" or "We are unable to admit you at this time". Rejection comes in many forms, whether it be in the opening lines of a depressing email or in the simple lack of your name on a list that you knew you should have been on. It never gets easier to look at these supposed failures on your part; you never realize how easy it is to blame yourself for not getting onto a cast list for a play or into a certificate program for your major (both scenarios I have gone through this past month) until you start questioning why you weren't good enough.

For me, high school was relatively rejection-free. I breezed through auditions for the school musicals and got the parts I wanted. I got into all of the colleges I applied to except for one. Both of my prom dates for junior and senior year were settled quickly and without hassle. I certainly had my fair share of disappointments and drama throughout my high school years, but for the activities I was most passionate about, I found myself to be doing pretty well.

Of course, college life tends to show you a sneak peek of the real world, and I certainly received my wake-up call. Suddenly I was applying to leadership positions and auditioning for musicals at college and swiftly getting turned down. Needless to say, I was discouraged. What am I doing wrong? I asked myself after I wasn't called back for a role in a play I really wanted. Am I not good enough? The adjustment from doing well in the proverbial "small pond" of high school to seemingly failing in the "big pond" of a major university was something I struggled with freshman year and something I still struggle with.

With each rejection, whether it be from a director, a club, or even a boy over text, I felt disappointed, angry, and sad. But rejection tends to help us more than harm us, even if we don't believe it in the moment. With each rejection came a new opportunity for me: where I may have been involved in a musical, I found a really awesome music group to be a part of. Where I may have gotten into a certificate program, through my rejection, I got an opportunity to write for the school paper. I realize now that rejection opens the doors we ignored when putting our sole focus on something else. Rejection doesn't break us down; it makes us stronger.

So, to all of the college students out there feeling ready to give up after hearing yet another "no", don't. A "yes" may be just around the corner.

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