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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 activities.
    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 Gyms
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 duties.
    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.
  5. 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 current situation.

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.