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Ask a Collegiette: Eating Healthy in College

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

What’s the best way to stay healthy while at college? I love making smoothies and cooking homemade food, but I know that’s going to be nearly impossible at school. –Elise

Elise,

You’ll find that your dorm and dining hall don’t offer you the same cooking comforts as your home, but do know that you won’t have to sacrifice your health because of it!

It’s not a graduation requirement to gain the freshman 15. In fact, I had a friend who actually lost weight during freshman year instead of gaining it!

The first step to staying healthy on campus is to make sure that you have a minifridge in your room. This will let you store nutritious snacks so that you don’t head to the vending machine for junk food when you get the munchies. You’ll also be able to prep your food early and store it properly the day beforehand if you know that you’ll be on the go the next day.

In terms of cooking homemade food, most dorms have a common area on the hall with a kitchen area, an oven, a stove and sometimes a fridge to use, too, if you decide not to get a minifridge. You may be required to have a meal plan if you’re living on campus, but if you want to cook your own food on occasion, you can definitely do that in this space. Plus, your cooking will make the whole hall smell so good!

You also don’t have to worry about not being able to make smoothies once you go to school. My neighbor last year got a blending machine similar to a Magic Bullet where she would load up her fruits and base into the cup that could be taken on the go so that she wouldn’t have to give that up, either. As I mentioned before, you can just store your fruits and base in your minifridge or common-area fridge so that you can use them when you need them.

If you won’t have a car on campus your first year and you’re worried about how you’ll get your fresh ingredients, ask a friend with a car to drive you to the grocery store when it’s convenient. If you go to school in a city, it will also benefit you to look into public transit options. Make a list of what you’d like to buy ahead of time so you know exactly what you need and you won’t have to waste time roaming the aisles. Even better, if you hear someone talking about grocery shopping, politely ask if you can join on the trip, and pitch in a few dollars for gas to show your appreciation.

Lastly, search Pinterest for some easy recipes. You’ll be able to find ones that fit your budget and your resources—score! Also, read our tips for how to eat healthily when you do go to the dining hall to help you to feel more empowered and in control of what you’re eating.

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Jen is a 2016 graduate of Messiah College, where she majored in journalism and minored in gender studies. She's a proud Bostonian who is obsessed with tattoos, puppies, magazines and Sephora. She's been reading Her Campus since high school and was thrilled to join the HC team as a National Contributing Writer in September 2013. She became an HC Beauty Blogger in February 2014 and continued to write on-trend beauty posts until July 2016. A few highlights from her time writing for HC included attending and writing about two BeautyCon events and Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Life in 2015. You can follow her on Twitter @JenFlanagan14 and on Instagram @jenlea14.
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