Healthy Habits While Living On Campus
A Big Transition
The first year of college is a huge moment for incoming freshmen, who will experience
new freedoms and more responsibility than ever before. However, it’s easy to fall
behind in your first year, which can make it difficult to recover and catch up throughout
the rest of your college career.
Fortunately, there are dozens of tried and true tips to help you make it through your
first year. Follow these crucial tips to make it through your first year and get on
track toward graduation.
College Wellness Tips
- Choose healthy eating options when you visit the dining hall – College dining halls have much more dining options to choose from than your high
school lunch room. However, many of these options aren’t always healthy, especially
if you have Papa John’s, Qdoba and Starbucks conveniently placed near your classes.
If you have a dining pass, try to buy healthy, whole meals with it. Use it at a salad
or soup bar or a healthier chain like Subway instead of using one swipe on a sugary
coffee drink from Starbucks. Whole meals will keep you full for much longer compared
to fast-food options and keep your brain alert during classes. Your card total will
last much longer and hunger pangs will be less frequent.
- Take advantage of your university’s fitness center – In most tuitions, a fitness center fee is factored in every new year or semester
(depending on the college), providing students with access to fitness equipment and
Some university fitness centers are massive and have a variety of equipment, rooms
and activities to choose from, including but not limited to:
o Racquetball courts/rooms
o Basketball courts
o Yoga rooms
o Dance rooms
o Track and field equipment
o Indoor soccer
o Weightlifting rooms
o Bowling alleys
o Olympic-size swimming pools
o Sport clubs
o Intramural sports
o Free group fitness classes
College fitness fees are a mere pittance compared to some public gyms that only offer
a quarter of what college fitness centers offer with $50 membership fees. Make sure
to make use of your fitness center access while you have it; your mind and body will
thank you later.
- Join a club or group on campus – Making new friends on a huge campus can be daunting, but it’s actually much easier
than it is in high school. A great way to make new friends outside of class is through
university clubs and groups on campus. No matter what your interest, there’s guaranteed
to be a group of individuals on campus who share them with you.
A great way to discover clubs or groups on campus is to attend club orientation events
at the beginning of each year or semester. These events are like conventions, where
all the school’s clubs and groups set up tables and post information about their clubs
with members available to answer any questions you have. It’s a signature event for
many colleges and universities, and more information on them can be commonly found
in the student union hub on campus. Most clubs are also based out of student unions
as well if you want to explore them on your own time.
- Set boundaries with roommates – Living on campus can be fun, but things can turn south quick if you don’t get along
with your roommates. A healthy living environment is key to your academic success
so it’s crucial you get to know your roommate and address each other’s concerns. When
you first move in, discuss what you both need in order to succeed, whether it’s quiet
hours, unique study habits or how to keep your living space clean and to assign cleaning
It’s understandable when things don’t work out with a roommate. If you can’t reach
a mutual understanding, talk to a floor manager about your issues and have them mediate
the problem to help find a solution.
Oftentimes during the middle of the semester or year, vacancies will open in residence
halls. However, dorm relocation should always be a last resort and there’s no guarantee
there will be any vacancies available at the time you want to move. If issues persist
don’t hesitate to reach out to higher ups in student housing such as the housing director.
- Get help if you need it – Living on your own on campus can be daunting, especially if you’re hundreds of
miles away from family and old friends. First-year classes can be difficult, causing
a lot of stress, but you don’t have to deal with it on your own. Colleges and universities
have dedicated staff and counselors available to keep you on track and help you work
through whatever you’re experiencing, whether it’s dealing with the stress of classes
or an altercation on campus left you worried about your well-being or safety.
Proponents of advocacy groups can also be found on campus who can help you work through
specialized issues that you might feel general staff or counselors may not understand
or be knowledgeable in. Peer counselors around the same age as you can be especially
helpful as many have experienced the same issues as you have, such as stress caused
by hard classes or confrontations with roommates. Keep in mind you’re never truly
alone on campus and that there is always someone who can help you, regardless of your
Succeed Academically at Upper Iowa University
At Upper Iowa University we prepare our students to succeed, both academically and
personally. Our mission is to provide students with different academic program options,
in-person and online, so they can pursue their degrees in ways that work best for
them. Paired with online and in-person resources, counseling and social activities,
our students are fully empowered to succeed no matter which path they choose.
Pursue your degree the way you want with support from campus staff, counselors and
your fellow students. Contact UIU to enroll today.