15 ways to stay freshman fit

Going away for school for the first time can be tough.

It’s a major shift in lifestyle for teens and there’s no way around it. Relocating, living in residence, adjusting to a new and demanding class schedule is an adjustment. Somehow, it becomes hard to find the time to be active while you have more freedom than ever before. Is that a paradox?  

How do you navigate this landscape, while still making time to be active? Simple. You put on the Freshman Fifteen.

Not that Freshman Fifteen. We’re talking about fifteen essential ideas to get you through this transition period. Even if it seems tough now, you will thank yourself once you’ve discovered new friends and conquered fresh challenges. Now, without further ado…

  1. Manage your stress levels. Schedule properly, ensure you have ample time to relax, keep to your deadlines, and learn to say: “Sorry bud, I just have too much going on at the moment.”
  2. Keep an eye on your sleep patterns. Studying late into the night and rising early for class can have some serious side effects on your physical health. As a student, you should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
  3. Take a course that includes physical activity. Wouldn’t it be sweet to get credit for getting active? Poke around your school’s schedule of classes; there’s likely something you can take that’ll get you on your feet. It’s a win/win.
  4. Be mindful of partying. Post-secondary school is a great time to let loose but keep in mind that it might start to affect other aspects of your life like your sleep and general nutrition. Try suggesting an active alternative for your newly-minted friends to socialize, like a bike ride.
  5. Walk the campus! There’s no better way to learn the layout of your school than to actually walk all over the campus. You can learn where your classes are, where the best places to eat are located, and even the whereabouts of Pokémon stops.
  6. Join a sports club or intermural. A sports club or intermural team is a great way to get active, and actually stick to your goals; since the club will have set times they meet, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your scheduled activities.
  7. Try out the campus gym. If you live on campus, then chances are you have easy access to a communal gym. Go alone, or better yet, bring a friend – either way, it’s great to acquaint yourself with this essential resource.  
  8. Keep hydrated. Whatever you are doing – whether it is getting active, or simply studying in the library keep a bottle of water with you at all times.
  9. Visit the Health and Wellness Centre. If your campus has a Health and Wellness Centre, then you should make stopping by a priority; it’s an excellent resource for all things health-related including getting active.
  10. Create a daily plan. If you’re the type that gets disorganized and stressed out easily, take some time everyday to make a list of things you want to accomplish and then realistically decide what you can finish today.
  11. Rig up a standing desk. As the workload grows and due dates loom large, you’re going to put in a lot of time at your desk. It’s easier than ever to rig up a DIY standing desk now to keep your energy up through your studies, before you get bogged down by schoolwork.
  12. A mini-workout makes for a great study break. If the paper you’re writing is giving you brain burn, try getting up and doing some jumping jacks or dancing around the room or even doing some quick body weight exercises.
  13. Be prepared for change. Keep an open mind and be prepared for your life to change in a major way. Resisting the shift won’t get you very far – instead, look towards the bright future you’re making for yourself
  14. Get out of your comfort zone… but keep in touch with your old life. Looking towards the future doesn’t mean severing all ties to the past. Don’t forget about your family and friends back home. Your friends that went away to school are in the same boat as you, so keep in touch if you can!
  15. Everything in moderation, including moderation. These tips are a great guideline for getting started, but don’t stress out too hard about following everything to a tee. Just do your best, and you’ll get results.

Good luck frosh! We’ll see you at Thanksgiving when it’s time for the ritual “ending of the high school relationship” (a.k.a. Turkey Dump). Remember to let them down gently – they won’t see it coming. Bonus points if you do it over a bike ride. Just make sure it’s not a tandem bike.