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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Eating in College

College is a great time in life because one is independent within a controlled environment. It's basically an introduction into the real world with a giant safety net of resources and people to help you if you fall. For some students, it's the first time they really control what they eat. This is great for some people-- I eat primarily vegetarian in college entirely out of personal preference.

Everyone talks about gaining the Freshman Fifteen, and I won't lie, I gained weight in my first year in my first year of college. Honestly, most people gain some weight from drinking and snacking rather than poor meal choices. Alcohol has a ton of calories, and college students are famous for eating pints of ice-cream in a single Netflix binge. Even students who don't drink alcohol often find themselves gaining weight from all those sugary Starbucks drinks!

Yet, I think there's something else that needs to be addressed about eating in college. Nutrition and skipping meals is not often addressed because they are sensitive topics, but they are both extremely important. A lot of students don't construct well-rounded meals for a number of reasons-- expense and convenience are the two biggest reasons I can think of. Students who cook for themselves often buy the cheapest possible food, depriving themselves of fruits and veg in favour of easy and cheap meals with little nutritional value. Others who eat in the dining hall often eat what tastes good (which is not always healthy) or get in-and-out as fast as possible by eating unhealthy options.

Based on the conversations I've been overhearing in the dining hall recently (Freshmen, you're very noisy!), a lot of students skip meals in order to keep their weight down.  It does seem like there's more disordered eating initially in the school year before students figure out what works for their bodies... but regardless, skipping meals is not a healthy way to go about weight loss. While I will admit that I generally eat 2 meals a day (late breakfast and early dinner), I make sure to eat enough calories to keep my energy up. I'm an active person-- I dance, skate and run around BU's campus. You can't expect to function well if you're not fuelling yourself properly!

So to my fellow students: take care of yourselves. I know college is a wild time, but make sure you're eating properly!


  1. These are definitely some great points! And very relate-able, I feel like I knew everyone doing what you were describing! However, I think another important aspect of it needs to be addressed: food in relation to emotion or mental health. I was pretty miserable in my first year of university, and as a result I didn't eat much. I had two very small meals a day, and sometimes I had a rice cake or two. Needless to say, I kind of did the anti-freshman fifteen. My eating habits got better as I got, well, happier. And I know the opposite often happens as well, eating more due to emotion and mental health. It's so important to look after yourself, not just for mental energy, but also for physical health!


  2. I'm trying to work on getting healthier. I've been really slacking in the nutrition department. I moved in with a different roommate and she never cooks meals. It's definitely her choice, but it makes the option to go out to eat so easy and I'm finding myself snacking all day instead of making meals.

    I'll have to buy some more fresh fruits and vegetables to cook this weekend and make some meals ahead of time. That way I won't have an excuse during the week when my time gets sparse.

    Great post! Definitely a reminder I needed :)

    - Courtney

  3. just cook your own meals... when I first came to America, I skipped meals and ate one cup of noodles for the day. I gained water weight instead of losing weight.. then I realized, "well that was stupid".. besides, I love food :)



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