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How To Be “That Girl” At College

College is a stressful time, and for many students, a tough adjustment from living at home. With the pandemic, we spent more time at home than ever, and as a result, changes like living with a roommate, handling a college workload, and striking a balance between your social life and academic commitments may seem especially challenging. But in the whirlwind that is managing college life, it is important to prioritize your health and wellness. Here are some tips to be ~that girl~ at school.

1. Try out these healthy meal options on grounds.

My favorite restaurant on campus is “The Castle”. Located near McCormick dorms, it serves salads, grain bowls, and paninis as meal exchanges. My go-to order is a brown rice bowl with egg, avocado, shredded carrots, crispy onion, roasted sweet potato, and red cabbage. “Burrito Theory”, located on the first floor of the O-Hill dining hall, offers burritos, burrito bowls, and quesadillas. It is also a meal exchange restaurant. Finally, “The Juice Laundry” is a restaurant on the corner that accepts flex dollars as payment. You can access their menu HERE. Nothing screams ~health and wellness~ more than a girl walking to class with a fresh smoothie in hand.

2. Take time to study outdoors.

With all of the outdoor study space available on grounds, it would be wasteful not to enjoy it! Spending time studying outside is a great way to enjoy nature during the day and destress. Homework is an inevitable part of our routine (like it or not), so why not get some fresh air in the process? Plus, with the ever-present threat of Covid, there is no better time to embrace outdoor activities!

3. Bring food home with you from the dining hall to keep in your minifridge as snacks for later on in the week.

If you think about how much money you’re spending on your meal plan, especially if you have unlimited swipes, you might as well take full advantage of your access. Whenever I am eating in a dining hall, I make sure to take home a half dozen apples to keep in my minifridge. That way, I can more easily eat fresh fruit throughout the day, which I’m sure many of us are lacking! I also bring Tupperware containers to prep yogurt parfaits for the next morning with Greek yogurt, granola, and peanut butter.

4. Create a fitness plan for the week and stick to it. Even if your “workout” is adding extra distance to your walk home from class.

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. But some days in our week tend to be busier than others, so creating a daily habit of exercise can be difficult. Embrace flexibility and give yourself leeway to substitute a traditional workout for alternative ways to move your body. For instance, if you have an hour between two of your classes, take this time to explore campus on a walk. Or, if you don’t have time to go to the gym, try a quick, online workout in your room. My fav ab workout is Pamela Reif’s 10 MIN KILLER SIXPACK video.

5. Keep a kit of self-care items in your backpack to stay fresh throughout the day.

There’s no need to sweat about hygiene if you keep your bag stocked with self-care goodies. Deodorant, body spray, baby wipes, and hair ties are a few essentials. Consider keeping cough drops and tissues on you during flu season so you can always offer them to a classmate in need. Gum, ibuprofen, hand sanitizer, and Tide to Go Stain Remover Pens are also important to keep in mind. Do whatever you need to feel comfortable in class.

Claire Brodish is a first-year student at the University of Virginia pursuing commerce and public policy and leadership studies. She loves fashion, fitness, and feminism. Keep up with her on Instagram @claire_brodish xx
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