Health and Wellness Advice for New College Students

As a new class of freshmen heads off to college this fall, it’s easy to get caught up in all the myths and urban legends that surround this pivotal time. Sure, your first day of school may be exactly like what happens to the central characters in movies like Legally Blonde, Animal House, or Good Will Hunting — but chances are, it’ll be much less raucous, with a lot of more parental figures hovering in the background.

As you get settled into school, trying to balance your new class schedule, along with assignments, making new friends, and getting in three square meals a day can be hectic. Here are some of our best tips to help ease your transition into college.

Reach for healthier food options

Students have a reputation for eating extremely poorly during their college years — while dorm meal plans have improved a lot in the last few years, many schools still partner with popular fast food chains to provide on-campus options to busy students. It’s tempting to spend all of your meal plan money there — after all, many of these options do contain some vegetables, and are an easy way to get a filling meal in under ten minutes. However, processed food is often loaded with hidden calories and tons of sodium. If you’re able to cook for yourself, it’s best to learn a few easy recipes and focus on eating whole, unprocessed meals, and snacks. Even if you don’t have access to a full kitchen, you can still make sure that your snack options are healthy.

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Organize your schedule

As you settle into classes, one of the best ways to ensure that you’re always on top of class times, assignments, and readings is to make a schedule and stick with it. There are a ton of options out there — whether you’re an online calendar guru or can only follow something that’s written down in an organizer or agenda, the best option is the one that works for you. Once you’ve figured out a good system, use it to track all of your commitments and school work. Just knowing what you have coming up will help you feel less overwhelmed.

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