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Staying Healthy as a First Year: 5 Tips and Tricks to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle as you Enter your First Year of College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

Entering your first year of college is stressful! Amid this stress, prioritizing your own mental and physical health can be a challenge. Between eating at the dining hall, finding time to workout, and finding the balance between studying and spending time with friends, it can be hard to prioritize yourself and your own wellbeing. As a guide, I have compiled a list of 5 tips and tricks to lead a healthy lifestyle as you enter your first year of college!

Tip number 1: Drink water

The first, and most important tip is to drink water! According to Forbes, water is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of water are endless; it boosts metabolism, helps keep skin healthy, and keeps you hydrated. If you want to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle in college, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water!

Tip number 2: Have variety

The next tip would be to have variety. Second-year Biomedical Engineer Grace Murphy said that having variety when eating on campus was her top tip to stay healthy during her first year of college. Having variety in your diet ensures you are getting all the proper nutrients, while also allowing for a sweet treat to support mental health! Some examples of this could be varying the restaurants you eat at, varying your order at a certain restaurant, or buying your own food or snacks from the grocery store.

Tip number 3: Stay active

The third important tip would be to stay active. Amidst classwork, social activities, and taking time for yourself, finding time to be active in college can be hard! Murphy says she managed to stay active in college by walking to all her classes, and trying to set aside time in her schedule to go to the gym, go on a run, or go to the Poly Escapes climbing wall. Her advice was to “dedicate time like you would to a class to go and do something physical.” 

Tip number 4: Get enough sleep

The fourth tip is to be sure to get enough sleep. Amidst the heavy course load and big transition to college, prioritizing sleep can be hard but it is so important in maintaining one’s mental and physical health. According to the Sleep Foundation, a college age student should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to avoid drowsiness, weight gain, and poor moods. 

Tip number 5: Stay connected to friends and family at home

Finally, stay connected to your friends and family at home. Homesickness is an issue many college students face, especially as they enter their first year of college. Staying connected to your loved ones back home is extremely important in maintaining one’s mental health throughout the stressful school year.

Gabi Blecher

Cal Poly '26

I am a second-year Journalism major at Cal Poly SLO. I love writing, spending time with friends and family, and being outdoors.