What Does It Take For A College Student To Stay Healthy?

What Does It Take For A College Student To Stay Healthy?

Are you concerned about gaining the Freshman 15 and becoming an adult?

There you are, transitioning from having to show up to gym class in grades K-12 and now you are in college and all you take are regular classes. Gym classes aren’t a requirement anymore, so you feel relieved. Why did most students not appreciate gym when they had to take it? Usually, the answer was because they were lazy and it was not necessary. They were and are wrong.

What incoming freshman should know about health: physical activity needs to be ingrained in your brain ALWAYS AS REQUIRED.

You need to take it upon yourself to use your free school gym, or sign up to an affordable gym and GO, or else you really WILL gain the “Freshman 15.” It may be an ongoing joke, but it is taken from something that must seriously be noted. You need to learn how to take care of yourself now, without an adult breathing down your neck.

Finally, in college, you have freedom. Some of you have money your parents still give you because you are their baby, or you already have a part-time job you can support yourself with. Regardless, you use that money towards needs during a long day, such as meals. You would be surprised how many people actually DO eat healthy, but it comes at a price. You are looking at a $7 salad when you are only given $10 for the day.

Junk food may seem appealing when you look at your budget. So now, not only are you in college and must learn to take care of your body physically, but you need to somehow become financially independent. Maybe you can only be a part-time student because you need a full-time job to support your healthy eating habits, as well as your living situation, if you don’t have the funds.

Growing up is hard, especially if you feel like there was no real transition time between your senior year in high school and freshman year of college. Maybe like some people, you are lucky and your family pays for everything and supports you. I am not rich, but I was supported during that transition. I couldn’t afford to dorm but I was able to buy my meals. Also, I worked a little so I saved that money. Honestly though, bringing healthy food from home is the best option, so that your hunger doesn’t tempt you to buy unhealthy food.

Not only do you need to take care of your body physically and yourself financially, but you need to take care of your mental health and well-being. Believe it or not, sleep deprivation, even for a short period of time can break your nervous system. If your nervous system breaks, anxiety and depression, as well as other mental illnesses, will be developed. So make sure you have 7-8 hours of sleep each night (or the basic amount you need to function normally, which differs for each individual).

If a student works and goes to school, maybe 7-8 hours of sleep is impossible, but try and compensate for it by taking study breaks and short naps when you can. I personally worked and went to school last year, but it only made me procrastinate less and plan out study time. It actually helped me use my time wisely. Sometimes, I felt that sleep was more important than anything so I would just go to sleep and set up a time in the morning or in breaks to finish my assignments.

Mental and physical health are at the top of the list of what a college student needs to have. Achieving great grades is important as well, so make time to study and try to learn the material on your own. Your professors will not help you and guide you as much as your former teachers did. In my experience, even if the teacher was nice, the tutoring sessions still didn’t help me do my best on the test. The review sheet did not help me do well on the tests either. So, you get lucky with the professors and you are good. If not, you have learned what you need to do and there is always next semester! Health is a complicated topic, but if you learn to tackle it step by step, you'll be alright. It is a part of growing up, and remember, we are all in the same boat!

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To The Man Who Catcalled Me

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

Dear Asshole,

First of all, screw you.

I don't know you, but you tried talking to me anyway.

You thought you had a right to raise your voice and call to me--as if I'm a dog, as if I should listen when you speak. You don't deserve my attention.

Unfortunately, I heard every word that passed through your lips.

You went out of your way to make me feel small. I pretended not to hear what you said, but I carried it with me the entire way home.

You probably forgot about it, but your words echoed in my ears for hours. Your stupid comment caused me more pain than I'd like to admit.

How dare you take a few seconds of your life to waste hours of mine.

You made me feel dirty in my own skin.

I went home and didn't want to look at myself in the mirror because all I could feel was shame.

I wondered if I could've done something differently to avoid you--wore less makeup, maybe; anything to avoid comments like yours.

It's not me that's the problem, though. It's you. What kind of man behaves the way that you did? Your words were hurtful, whether or not you intended them to be.

You took my self-confidence and my peace of mind away from me in a matter of seconds.

Before you, I felt good.

I wasn't doing anything to deserve your attention--I was just waiting at a traffic light.

It doesn't matter what I was doing, really. You had no reason to call out to me, to speak to me with no regard for my humanity, but you did it anyway.

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

The amount of time I've spent thinking about what you said is far more than you deserve.

You don't deserve a letter. You deserve a kick in the balls.

Regardless, this is a message for you, or men like you, who think that catcalling complete strangers is okay.

Attention all assholes:

I am female, but that does not mean that I am fragile.

My body is not yours. It is no one else's. It is mine.

Sexualizing my body is not a compliment.

I am more than a body. I am a person. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover.

I don't deserve to be talked to like a piece of meat.

I am not here for your pleasure.

I am tired of being just a body. Women are tired of being just bodies. We are more than that--we are smart, we are strong, we are worthy of respect.

If you cannot speak to women with respect, you do not deserve to speak at all.

I hope you think about what you said, even for a moment.

I hope you never speak to another woman the way you spoke to me.

I hope you realized something from this experience, like I did.

Because you catcalled me, I remembered my worth.


A Woman Who's Tired Of This Shit

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Borneman

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I'm Headed Back To The Water

Water Is Home. Just Dive In.

When I was a little girl my grandfather and mama taught me how to swim. I fell in love with the water and frankly, swimming was something I excelled at. They taught me how to swim before I could walk. Once I was a little bit older my parents quickly enrolled me in Red Cross swim lessons at a local pool. By the age of four I was swimming on a summer league team, and by eight, I was swimming competitively year round.

The water is where I feel at home. I’m not clumsy or awkward. I move fluidly with strength and speed. When I’m in the water, the world disappears. I get to be in my own head, working towards a goal while not worrying about my surroundings. So, I’m headed back to the water.

I know I will not be swimming the way I once did. I’m not looking to be a competitive swimmer again. I have no desire to wake up before the crack of dawn to hop in an icy cold pool. I’m going back to the water to find myself again. To find the girl who had a lot more confidence than I currently do. To find the girl who trusted her body to make the right movements and get her to where she needed to be. I’m looking to find the physical strength and endurance I once had that has since been lost.

When in the water, I feel safe because of the confidence I have in my ability, but also because I trust my body. I’ve never been scared that I would drown because I knew my body would get me back to the wall or would automatically bring me to the surface. I don’t place the same trust in my body while on land. I’m much more clumsy; it doesn't matter if I’m walking or running. I’ve fallen down the stairs, up the stairs, and tripped over my own feet.

When I stopped swimming, I lost myself. I think it’s time I find myself again.

Cover Image Credit: Maxwell Gifted on Unsplash

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