You heard about the infamous “freshman 15” even before you came to college. Everyone told you about the freedom you would have: no one to tell you when to sleep, what to eat, whether or not to go to class, or when to wake up. All this freedom seems wonderful until you go home over winter break and your best friend’s parents say “you put on a bit of weight.” (fun fact, that actually happened to me. Talk about a wake-up call!)
While it may seem really hard right now to avoid getting ice cream and cookies after every meal, there are simple measures you can take right now to brag later on that “the freshman 15 never hit me!” If I tell you right now to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, go to the gym 3-4 times a week, and also eat healthy food, you’ll probably laugh in my face and say that it’s impossible and you would rather spend that time hanging out with your friends. Why sleep more when you can get dollar pizza at 3 am? *Just* this one time. NO!!
You can work out with friends and have a healthy life while keeping your social circle. Oh and all of that “totally legal” alcohol you’re consuming? Yeah, that isn’t too great for keeping off the pounds either. (I’m looking at you, abroad kids. There’s a reason it’s called abroad bod and not sophomore 16.) Staying physically healthy isn’t only good for your body, but also for your mental health.
So how do you do your best to enjoy college without turning into an oompa loompa? Eat healthy when you can: save the calorie-heavy meals for when you’re going out with friends. Eat breakfast!! Way too many students ignore the value of a good breakfast, but it’s a great way to start your day and to avoid overeating at lunch. By the way, coffee does not count as a full breakfast. Eat on time, or at least don’t eat after an hour before you’re about to sleep. , so 3 am Artichoke Pizza doesn’t exactly qualify. And as hard as it might be, try to make it to the gym at least twice a week. You may think that you don’t have the time, but you have to make the time to feel good!
As college students, we put sleep on the back burner and say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Well, that may be sooner rather than later if you don’t get enough rest. Learn to prioritize your work and make deadlines for yourself so that you’re not pulling an all-nighter to write an essay or study for an exam. Lack of sleep means eating at unorthodox hours and feeling, for lack of a better word, GROSS.
Of course, you should enjoy yourself in college – you do live in New York City after all! It’s all about a balance and you definitely deserve to treat yourself once in a while. It gets easier as the years pass by, and soon enough you’ll be a junior looking at freshman pictures and saying “wow freshman 15 hit me hard.”