Being a college student is hard work. Not just academically, but everything above. Students face a lot of pressure from having a social life, to being involved on campus, to staying healthy both physically and mentally. Before starting college, all you hear about is the potential freshman 15 that lingers over your head, but all of the other things seem to go undiscussed. While keeping your body healthy is important, it’s just one aspect of health.
Being a senior at UT, I have learned a few tips and tricks over the last few years on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tricks and tips every college student should live by.
- Drink Water: Hydration is key
This one is self explanatory, but drinking water is so easy, yet so easily forgetting. In the hot Florida sun drinking water is more important than ever. Dehydration can cause increased fatigue, loss of motivation, impair brain performance, and memory, according to Healthline. If you are someone that gets frequent headaches and migraines, you may be able to attribute them to a lack of hydration.
A study done by the BMC Public Health, showed that 44% of people in the 393 person study experienced a headache due to dehydration. The study also showed that dry lips and skin, muscle cramps, and acne are also possible results of someone who is dehydrated. On average, women need 11.5 cups of water a day while men need 15.5 cups, according to Mayo Clinic.
- Have an exercise plan
Getting yourself to workout can be really difficult at times. If you’re someone that doesn’t enjoy working out (like me) motivation is key. Make a specific time to workout every week and stick to it. By making your 30 minute working a part of your routine you never have to think about planning time for it. If it’s already in your schedule there’s no excuses! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Whether that’s going on the treadmill at the gym or doing a Chloe Ting workout in your room, it’s important to keep active for your own mental and physical health.
- Have a planner
Having a planner sounds simple, but is unbelievably important. When your professor tells you an assignment due the next day or in two weeks, write it down! If you see everything you have to do physically written out it makes it so much easier to stay up to date and organized. Don’t just use your planner for work though. By writing in your weekend plans, gym schedule, or even your Netflix show, you will be able to plan out your work and have an easier time getting everything done while still having a social life.
- Party with a plan
While going out and partying is limited due to COVID this is one to remember post-pandemic. Have a plan when you go out. As a 20-year-old girl, going out can be stressful with statistics and horror stories of other college girls running through my mind. Due to this, it is unbelievably important to do some pre-party preparation.
Get your friends’ locations. You need to look out for the people you go out with. Even if you decided to be responsible and stay in one night while your friends went out, have their location. It is so easy to do and can actually save lives.
Do not leave your drink. Especially if you are somewhere unfamiliar or in public, keep your drink in your hand at all times. If you put it down, get a new one.
When going out always make sure your phone is charged and that you have money. My dad’s favorite tip is to always have cash. Credit and debit cards can be unreliable and can get lost easily on a night out. Having a cash backup is key (and it budgets you).
- Be smart
Be smart with sex. Everyone knows that hookup culture is prominent on college campuses, but whether you participate or not is your decision. What you do with your body is your choice. You should not feel ashamed by how many or few people you decide to hook up with, but always remember to be responsible and use protection. Remember to take advantage of UT health insurance and health care providers! If you want to go on birth control, you may be covered through insurance. College healthcare professionals are there to help you and have seen it all so don’t be afraid to take advantage of their services.
- Take your own health seriously, your mom isn’t here anymore
This tip is similar to the last, but take your health care seriously. Your parents aren’t around to book your doctors appointments, so do it yourself! It’s easy to ignore our own health with the busy life of a UT student, but if something is not right take action. You know your own body the best, so if something seems off or you don’t feel right don’t hesitate to call up Dickey Health and Wellness Center or the local urgent care.
Your mental health is the most important thing so don’t neglect it. Your emotions and feelings are valid. Through UT, students are eligible for some therapy sessions. If you feel like you need to talk with someone there are people to call whether on campus or a healthcare professional off campus. Prioritizing mental health is unbelievably important as a college student. Everyone struggles with it at times, so do not feel embarrassed for feeling the way you do.
- Advocate for yourself… be your own cheerleader
In highschool, I had a teacher who would constantly say “be your own cheerleader” and he was onto something. The first few years away from home can be rough so you have to make sure you are your own biggest fan. Advocating for yourself whether in the classroom or with your health is so important. Not only is it a great way to make sure you’re controlling your own happiness, but it’s something everyone needs to know in life. Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. If you need help on an assignment or just need advice, don’t be afraid to ask. Be your own biggest fan… it’s something to live by.