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eating well

Health

A Healthy Student Is a Successful Student

October 23, 2020
The importance of your mental and physical health in college

Physical and mental health are just as important as academic achievement when you’re a college student. Considering the health crisis that our world is currently in, college students should realize the importance of good health and how it can impact their academic performance. Here are some ways to make sure you’re staying healthy.

Mental Health and Academic Performance


Many college students can probably recall a time in which they underestimated the impact of mental health and clarity when it comes to their academic performance. While many college goers focus heavily on making good grades, often times, this includes pulling all-nighters to study and finish big assignments and not participating in other activities outside of school. What they don’t realize is how these elements could potentially hurt their grades rather than helping them to succeed. Implementing these habits will add on unnecessary stress in the long run and make it harder to focus on your assignments, which may result in unsatisfactory academic performance.

Perfection isn’t always possible

Remember that it’s okay to miss a few points on an assignment or exam. What’s important is that you completed the work to the best of your ability and made sure to include all pieces of information your professor or instructor requested.

Utilize a calendar

Use a calendar or planner to keep track of your daily tasks, assignments, and exams. Many of the phones and computers that students use today have apps with the ability to track and manage their schedules and set reminders. Write down what the assignment is, its due date, and when you plan to have it completed. If possible, always try to complete an assignment before its due date, just in case any last minute changes need to be made.

Don’t skimp on sleep

Rest! Getting the proper amount of sleep as a college student is crucial. With the help of a calendar or planner to track your assignments, you’ll find that those all-nighters and late night study sessions will become few and far between.

Make time for friends and get involved in extra activities outside of class. Having a great group of reliable friends throughout college is more beneficial than you may think. Take time to enjoy things you like to do, meet new people, and get involved in campus clubs or activities.

Physical Health and Academic Performance


For most students, being away from home for the first time can pose a challenge in making sure their physical health is a priority. If you’re not taking care of yourself, your academic performance may begin to decline. One of the most relevant challenges in regards to physical health as a college student is eating habits. Chances are, there aren’t many healthy options on college campuses when it comes to dining. Another challenge college students often face is finding time to exercise and stay active.

Choose healthy options

This may seem easier said than done considering that many college campuses do not offer a variety of healthy options. Lighter snacks and meals will help keep you focused and ready to learn. Sometimes eating heavier meals throughout the day will cause fatigue and make it harder for you to focus.

Move your body

Find time to get active and exercise. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours in the gym everyday. Students can stay active by taking walks around campus, spending a half hour in the gym on different days throughout the week, and maybe getting involved in sports teams or clubs on campus.

Look good, feel good!

Take a few extra moments in the morning before class to make sure you look presentable, rather than rolling out of bed and showing up to your lecture in the same clothes you fell asleep in the night before. Getting ready will you give you an extra boost of confidence!

When you’re in college, it’s up to you to take care of your mental and physical well-being. Start with small changes in your everyday life and see how you feel.

Health Other

College Campus Vegan Survival Guide

April 17, 2019

During the fall of 2011, GradGuard’s Director of Customer Experience made the trek from Phoenix to Colorado State University for her freshman year of college. Upon crossing the state line, she decided to slowly adopt a vegan lifestyle.

Like most college students, she embraced the opportunity to express her newfound individuality and values. She had her own fridge, a small student budget, and a newfound desire for sustainability. Little did she know that her creative tricks to ‘veganize’ comfort food would one day land a selfie of her and her grandma in The Wall Street Journal.

The other day, while she was munching on carrots and vegan ranch, we asked her what advice she would give to incoming vegan freshmen on a budget. We expected a simple response and instead received the following detailed guide. Whether you’re vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, or just plain healthy; check out this guide and true tricks for cooking on college campuses.

College Campus Vegan Survival Guide

Surviving In the Dorm Room

Living on campus can be daunting without a kitchen, especially if you’re a foodie. Learning how to cook creatively in the dorm can feel a lot like being a contestant on Chopped. These items made cooking in the dorms not only fun and challenging but healthy!

The Basics The Extras
Mini-fridge
-Microwave
-Electric kettle*
-Utensils Slow-cooker*
-Rice maker*
-Glass containers
-16oz mason jars
-Cutting board with knife*  
-An herb garden
-A fungi-growing kit
-Sprouting jar and lids
-Cheesecloth
-Espresso maker*
-Cold-brew coffee maker
-A homemade kombucha kit  

*Please make sure to check with your residence hall’s rules and regulations regarding these items

Mini-Fridge Staples Shelf-Stable Staples
-Crudités
-Vegan ranch or mayo
-Hummus
-Seasonal fruits
-Frozen burritos
-Frozen vegetables in steam bags
-Beans
-Nuts and nut butters
-Plant-based milk
-Soup
-PastaSauce
-Microwavable rice and pasta

Surviving In the Dining Halls

Over 70% of college campuses are now providing vegan options in the dining halls. Most schools post a weekly menu for each dining hall complete with nutritional information. If you can’t easily find one online, reach out to your university. If your particular college is more vegetarian-friendly, it helps to sneak in your own cheese or condiments.

If you’re on a limited meal plan, it is easiest to skip the bacon and egg-laden breakfast most schools provide and stick to a quick protein bar or shake. Make sure to plan out your meals for the week if you have a limited number of dining hall passes. This way, you can create a short grocery list for the meals you know you’ll need to make.

Overall, being vegan on campus will take a lot of trial and error until you standardize your weekly routine. GradGuard is always here to help you with tips on wellness and college hacks. Here are a few vegan food bloggers’ guides that made being vegan in college look like a breeze:

Emilie Eats’ College Vegan Guide
Graduate of Louisiana State University & Current Colorado State Grad Student

Jordan Waddel’s Easy Packed Cold Lunches for Work or School
Current Nursing student

From My Bowl’s Easy 3-Ingredient After School Snacks
Graduate of the University of Pittsburg

Bon appétit!

Health Other

You’re Responsible for your Health in College

July 11, 2016

College can be some of the best years of your life. You get to try new things, meet new people, and most of all, eat whenever you want! For some, the meal plan going into freshman year might be the biggest highlight of going to college. No longer will you have to depend on your family’s schedule and food preferences. Instead, you’ll now be able to go to your local campus hot spot and be fully in control over what you want to eat.

Cereal for dinner? Go for it! Hamburgers and pizza for breakfast? Why not?

Along with these new freedoms to eat what you want, when you want, comes the responsibility of keeping yourself healthy.

That breakfast pizza? It could cause you to experience what we all know as the Freshman 15.

You're responsible for your health in college... here are some good habits to get into.

 

Eating healthy is definitely an important part of the equation for staying healthy and fit in college. It’s important to make sure that your dietary decisions take into consideration your overall activity level and the way your body deals with certain types of food. For example: if eating fries results in you feeling greasy or bloated, only indulge once in a while, rather than making a habit of it.

For more ways to eat better at school, check out this guide about how to beat the Freshman 15.

Another important component to feeling your best is exercising and being active. In order to establish and maintain good exercise habits, start with just 30-45 minutes a day. Being in college gives you considerable free time. Although some of your time will already be spoken for (class, studying, hanging out with friends), carving out under an hour per day to stay healthy will have you thanking yourself in the coming weeks, months and even years!

A simple way to increase exercise may be by walking to class. You don’t always need to take the bus or shuttle… instead, get a friend to tag along and take the long route to class on foot. Another way is to ride your bike to class or even to take a bike ride off campus to explore the area around your school. And on days you’re crunched for time, you can multitask and do your reading for class while riding a stationary bike at the gym.

Need more ideas to help you get your daily exercise in? Check out this guide to exercising in college!