When I heard Coastal Carolina University is having move in day this weekend I almost fell out of my chair. Where did you go summer? Well, summer ends earlier down in the south and looking back on it it seems right that Coastal would have move in day this weekend. College is full of many decisions and things you have to do on your own. I am dedicating this post to the Freshmen 15..hell now it can be the Freshmen 20 or 25. I do not want anyone to go through this. So even if you are not in college..you may know someone going through this right now..Read further down and I will give you my advice.
First things first..I graduated from Coastal Carolina in 2012 with a BA in English. I only went for two years but I had an amazing time. Coastal Carolina was the full of college experiences for me because I moved over ten hours away from my family, friends and boyfriend. I was completely on my own. When I entered Coastal I was over weight and I was around 210 lbs. Yes, that was a lot of weight but I did not think it was that big of a deal.
Coastal was great because I met so many new and awesome people. There were always something going on and lots of fun things. Only problem was I was on my own and I had no idea what being healthy was. Parties were ALWAYS happening and going out to a bar was a must because a lot of people were turning twenty-one around me so we had to celebrate. None of us had time to cook or were too lazy so Sonic and Moe runs were a must. I had a meal plan and I never picked ANYTHING healthy. Even though Coastal was fun I did feel home sick at time and would turn to food and drinking for comfort. I was not healthy.
When I graduated I was 232 lbs. I had a ball at Coastal but I learned nothing about being healthy on my own. I felt I some what failed but how did I know better? Things needed to change. Now I go to graduate school at Monmouth University. Things are different because I live at home and sadly I do not go out to bars or parties as much as I used to. Mostly no one has the time or money anymore. I now weigh 152 lbs and coming back home actually saved and helped my life.
So you are going to college or know anyone? Here is my advice on what I wish I did when I was away at college on my own.
1. Use your schools gym
I did use the gym once and a while at Coastal but I did not take advantage of it like I should have. Most colleges have an amazing gym with everything that you need. It is usually opened early to late hours so an excuse of having no time is not an option. Most of the time they even have awesome classes! Zumba and kick boxing and spinning classes!!! I never took advantage of any of this. I would give my left arm for this now because payment is your tuition! Sure you are paying for it but you are not paying out of your pocket right there. Now I count pennies to pay for my gym and spinning membership. Use the schools gym!!
2. The College Does Have Healthy Food
A lot of student have meal plans. Having a meal plan is great because you do not have to worry about food shopping or cooking. Granted most of the time colleges have either a buffet style or a quick fast food station. Just because you have a meal plan does not mean you have to get that pizza or fried chicken! The buffet style places usually have salad stations where you can build your own salad. Coastal even had a wrap station where you build your own wrap..but I was too lazy to wait in line for it. Do not be like that! Make good decisions. Think if this is really a good choice for you. Also, colleges have to have a vegetarian or gluten free option now in their food. Go for that selection.
If you do not have a meal plan and you have to go food shopping then made good choices and selections. Buy lots of fruits and veggies. Look for foods that are high in Fiber and Protein and less in Carbs and sugar. TV dinners may seem nice but they are really not that amazing for you. Also do not go out to eat every single meal! A drive through sounds amazing and fast but it will leave you feeling sluggish and crappy about yourself.
3. You Don’t Always Have To Drink
Yes, I know..This sounds crazy!!! How will you make friends if you are not drinking? Trust me you will make friends. Say there is a party Thursday-Sat. That is crazy amounts of bad food and drinking. Why are you out on a Thursday? Most of the time you have classes on Friday so you should be doing homework and studying! Save the parties for the weekend and maybe only drink one night in the weekend? One beer will not kill you but maybe you could nurse it for the whole time..Plus if you are underage you really should not be drinking because being caught is TEN times worse then not going to a party because you were studying. College is not about drinking.
4. Do Not Keep Food In Your Room
Now most start off in dorm rooms which this could be harder to follow but if you have a meal plan maybe food does not need to be in your room. My two years in Coastal I had a mini fridge in my room and I used to keep junk food in my desk. Do not do this! You will be up late at night trying to study but could be eating a whole jar of Nutella instead. If you need to keep food in your room then try and keep fruit instead.
5. Do Not Eat In Your Room
Just like keeping food in your room do no eat in your room! Why would you eat somewhere you sleep? Your room should be for studying, sleeping and relaxing. You should not be eating where you do these things!
6. Walk Everywhere
I wish I did this at school. I was so lazy! I wish I never drove and I walked everywhere. The walk was never long. I also went to a smaller university. If you are going to a big university I can understand walking everywhere is not reasonable. Try to walk a lot though because walking is great.
Also, a lot of schools have bike retails. So if walking is too much see if you could ride a bike all over the campus.
7. Get A Good Nights Sleep
College is full of staying up late doing home work, studying, papers and going to events. You really should try to get a good night sleep. I know it is laughable to think you should do your home work a head of time so you do not go crazy doing it the night before. I found out if I was not rushing assignments I was sleeping better and worrying about them less. You should be sleeping in your bed at night rather then in class or in the CAFE. Sleep is very important to be healthy.
8. Join A Club or Activity
Doing something new is great because it will keep you busy. You will meet new friends and you are less likely to sit on your bed alone and cram pop tarts in your mouth. Of course if you join the Pop Tart club that may be a different story. Join a sports team or do something active. Even if you are just apart of the news paper you are still meeting new people and you are away from all the food or drinking that you could be doing. Sometimes these clubs are active and you will stay in shape along the way.
9. Take A Fitness or educational nutrition class
Take a class for credits to educate yourself about your body and about health. All majors require you to take electives. Make the best of these and educate yourself about you. I wish I took a fitness class for credits. Coastal had dancing classes and that would have been so much fun! I would have been active as well. Look at the course hand book and see what kind of classes they offer. It is nice to get credit to learn something that could help you in the future.
10. Don’t Forget To Treat Yourself
Don’t forget to treat yourself. College is supposed to be fun. You do not have to turn down every party or reject that slice of pizza. Just stay fit, healthy, and active. Do not be a lump of mush on the couch and do nothing. You should go out and have fun but just make healthy choices. Stay active and watch what you put into your bodies. Be safe and have fun!!!
I hope this post helped someone. Gaining weight will most likely happen but it does not have to happen if you make the right choices and decided to be healthy.