When I entered university at 18, I worked like a racehorse, drank like a fish, and didn’t have a spare second to cook or plan meals.
I barely knew the difference between carbs, fats and proteins, and most of my meals were simply giant bowls of empty calories.
The result? I constantly felt like I was on the brink of the next plague.
So for the next generation of university and college students, here’s some advice. None of these tips will impact your ability to party and have fun, or take away from your time studying, travelling, or doing really awesome things with your time. Instead, they are small things you can do along the way that will have a huge impact on your grades, your mood and your life during what most people call, “the best four years of their life”.
1. Drink Water
Not Vitamin Water (basically sugar).
Not Gatorade (basically sugar).
Not soda pop (basically sugar).
Not red bull or monster or full throttle (basically crack).
Need electrolytes? Squeeze a lime and some salt into your water.
Need a pick me up? Drink black coffee or green tea.
Note: sparkling water mixes well with vodka and tequila and a lime. *wink*
2. Carry Snacks with You Everywhere
You have a knapsack, so fill it with on-the-go food. You’ll be more alert and probably even a little nicer to everyone.
Recommended: almonds, small apples, even protein bars.
3. Locate a Grocery Delivery Service in Your Town
Don’t have a car? No problem! Grocery delivery services are much more common today than 10 years ago.
Canada: Spud.com or check your area.
USA: Amazon Fresh or check your local area.
4. Don’t Go to Tanning Salons
Sneaking in a trip to “the beach” before class just isn’t worth it. Seriously, self-tanner is the answer.
5. Learn How to Make One Thing, Really Well
Whether its turkey meatballs, vegan ice cream sandwiches or even just steak and potatoes, knowing how to make something other than mac and cheese will make you a god amongst your roommates, impress your dates, and probably help ensure you actually use your kitchen every once and a while.
Living away from home for the first time coupled with a heavy course load and chaotic extracurricular schedule can be a lot. Even if you’re a part-time student living at home, these tips are small wins you make every day that will help your body thrive and ultimately, cultivate healthy mindfulness toward food and nutrition.
University/College can be one of life’s greatest experiences, and in my case, I met lifelong friends, grew so much as an individual and learned more than I can remember. So to those next up on this journey, cheers to the best four years.