Dear Freshman

PicNotebooks, check. Shower caddy, check. Mini fridge, check. Backpack, check. You’re all ready for your first day of your college career as far as your check list goes, but if you’re anything like I was last year when I was a freshman there’s much more that you’re concerned about than if your futon is going to fit under your loft bed. You might be worried about classes, meeting people, and what the dorm life will be like. Through all of the first day jitters, you’re most likely too busy to worry about being healthy or thinking “how can I stay healthy while on campus?” So as a welcome to campus gift from me to you, I’ll do you a favor and do all of the thinking and question answering for you. By doing so I will reflect on my freshmen year and list some health related mistakes I’ve made and what I should have done instead.

What I did: Decided to wait out doing an intramural sport until next year in case it would be too much on my plate with classes and other clubs.

What I should have done: Tried it out! See how it worked with my class schedule, and if I rather do a sport than the other clubs I was in. Seeing as I ended up not staying in the clubs I picked over intermural sports anyways, giving it a shot would have been worth it. Not only do you have a steady way to be active, but you meet people and get to have a lot of fun! Get info on each sport and sign up deadlines, here!

What I did: Thought that Ramen was actually a good idea for dorm living.

  • Ramen is famous for being a staple to a college kid’s diet because it’s affordable, and filling. However, instant ramen noodles contain Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) which is used to preserve cheap, processed foods, which makes digestion a drawn out process. Not only does it make breaking down the food difficult but it contains a lot of sodium, 875 mg to be specific, 35% of your daily value.

What I should have done: Not thought that Ramen was actually a good idea for dorm living.

  • Instead get some minute brown rice and flavor it with salt and pepper, soy sauce, or whatever you’d like!

What I did: Freshmen -15

  • After a few days of eating at the dining halls, trying UNO’s deep dish pizza, and basically anything you’d categorize as “college food” I was already missing my exotic array of fruits and vegetables, and health food that I spoiled myself with at home. I stuck to my picky standards and couldn’t find anything good and healthy to eat on campus. So I actually experienced my own twist on the freshmen fifteen, which was the freshmen negative fifteen. Although at least it wasn’t fifteen plus pounds I wasn’t looking to lose weight due to the lack of food I thought was acceptable.

What I should have done: Open my eyes to all of the options at the dining halls, and get creative making my own food in my dorm. Which I eventually did, because there really are great options at the dining halls, and I actually looked forward to making my own salad and seeing what the vegetarian options were that day (Esker’s wild rice and broccoli was my favorite). Also, like I said I got creative and found ways to eat like I would at home in my dorm, like by making instant oatmeal with almonds, honey, and cinnamon. Still unsure about what to pick while at either of the dining halls, UNO’s, P-Street, or any other venue? You can see what’s on the menu and the portion sizes along with calories of each menu items, right here! Also, for other tips on nutrition and eating healthfully here’s some advice from the experts at the University Health and Counseling Services.

 

What I did: Discovered how fabulous group fitness classes are too late!

What I should have done: Tried them out sooner! I have to give props to Warhawk fitness’s group fitness classes, because of these class’s existence I am the yoga enthusiast I am today. During my second semester me and my friends made it a regular routine to go to yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays, and my only regret is not going as much my first semester. So for goodness sakes, get into it! You don’t need to depend on having a buddy with you to do it (although it is a blast to go with a friend, but when everyone’s too busy I’ll rock it out by myself) and it is not an intimidating environment AT ALL. Seriously! No reigning international yoga sports champion is rollin’ up to a group fitness class at Whitewater, trust me. We are all falling over and collapsing together. I talk up yoga a lot just because it’s my favorite, but Warhawk fitness offers insanity, core complete, turbo kick, cycling and more! Check out the fall 2014 schedule here!

College can either be A.) The unhealthiest years of your life, complete with the freshmen 15…every year. Or it can be B.) Your healthiest and happiest years, with maybe the freshmen 15… in muscle! With all of the options to stay healthy on campus, option B is certainly achievable. With these tips in mind, the worst of your worries will be how to get through those awkward icebreakers. Have fun, stay healthy and enjoy your first year of college!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡