It’s an exciting time, going off to college; a major step in maturity and possibly your first foray into the world. You’re learning new things, meeting new people and developing lasting friendships. You’re working toward a degree in a field of your own choosing, forging a path and laying foundations for your career–deciding your place in the world. These experiences will influence the rest of your life. But it’s not all fun and games and excitement. College is a lot of work and it’s easy to fall into unhealthy living habits, so keep these 5 tips for healthy living in mind.

  1. Wholesome Eating
    It’s important to watch your diet in college. The Freshman 15 isn’t just something that someone made up as a joke. Many college students, due either to lack of time or lack of knowledge, end up eating a lot of junk food that has very real risks on their health. Look for healthy options at the dining hall, if your school has one (many of the larger universities do not). Also consider buying fresh groceries to cook in your dorm. It’s a lot healthier than eating pizza all the time, and it’s cheaper too.
  2. Responsible Fun
    Many college students have a tendency toward constant partying and heavy drinking. The negative effects from these habits should be obvious, and they will adversely affect your studies as well. Heavy drinking and lack of sleep will have noticeable and long-lasting consequences for your body and mind. Restrict partying to the weekends when you have time to kill and no classes to worry about the next day.
  3. Rest Easy
    It is critical that college students get enough sleep every night. Try to tailor your roster in such a way that you don’t have early morning classes if waking up will be a problem for you. Try to manage your time well and avoid the all nighters. If you’re going to bed late every night and waking up a six o’ clock in the morning for your first lecture, you’ll be exhausted, worn out, and demotivated. College courses can be very rigorous and it’s important to keep a positive attitude. Getting sufficient rest time is key in this situation.
  4. Keep Coffee and Cigarettes to a Minimum
    When dealing with the stresses of the college work load such as extensive essays, heavy reading assignments, difficult concepts and rigorous exams, many students wind up drinking large amounts of caffeine to stay awake and smoking cigarettes to ease the stress. Caffeine will dehydrate you and disrupt your sleep schedule, and the dangers of cigarettes should be obvious enough. Find a healthy means of stress relief.
  5. Utilize Your Leisure Time
    You know what they say about all work and no play. Whether you’re in an MHA degree program or going for your first bachelor’s, you’ll need to set aside time to unwind. If you find yourself getting too stressed out, make time for a break. Play sports, go for a jog, see a movie, whatever helps you relax. It’s important not to get too tense. After long sessions of studying and completing assignments, go and decompress. You’ll be healthier and happier as a result.