I walked into college with horror stories of the Freshman 15 looming over me. Would I be its next victim? Making my own choices now, would I go crazy? Is college going to be my health downfall that I can never recover from? Absolutely not! I do not know if you have ever thought about that before or how often you think about health, but it is so important to be healthy while in college. You guys, yes, you, will be in college and you now have the ability to make your own choices, but this does not mean that this is the downfall of your health. And whatever that looks like for you, Biola has the means to accommodate. There are so many ways to stay on top of your health, and let me walk you through some of them!
WHAT YOU EAT
Sometimes it can be overwhelming because in the Cafeteria you can essentially choose whatever you want to eat and however much you want to have. For the past four years, I have had some pretty restrictive health diets due to an autoimmune disease, which has included me being gluten free and vegan for a couple of years at Biola and keto for a couple of years at Biola. I hold strict to those diets, and the Caf has always found ways to accommodate it. I have always been able to have food that I can eat. My freshman year, I had a love/hate relationship with the french fries, in that I loved them and they hated me. And while it is not bad to eat french fries, I found that I was not thriving and not my healthiest self when I ate them everyday. If you look, there are so many different options besides just pizza, ice cream, and Lucky Charms. There is an omelet bar every morning, an extensive salad bar everyday, and almost everyday I combine foods from different sections in the cafeteria in order to make my meal healthy and have variety. For example, oftentimes I will take the vegetables from the salad bar, but then take the meat from the grill in order to eat a salad that I can actually enjoy! You can find so many ways in the Caf to eat healthy and enjoy it as well!
HOW YOU MOVE
It is really important to make sure that you stay moving in college and there are so many different ways to do that! Biola has a fitness center on campus that is free and available to all students and it is open everyday! I go it at least five times a week at a routine time in the morning and it really helps me to start my day well and stay in shape. Sometimes it can even be fun to go to the gym with friends and all workout together! If you prefer to work out and be active in other ways besides going to the gym, there are so many ways to accomplish that as well. Biola offers eight different intramural sports that you can play at any skill level throughout the entire year! Some of the offered intramural sports are flag football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, ultimate Frisbee, and dodgeball. You can get a team together or join a team and play a game against other Biolans every week and they are so much fun! Intramurals are also a great way to build a community. Furthermore, there are clubs at Biola that are geared towards getting out and being active, including clubs like dance clubs, hiking clubs, lacrosse clubs, and surfing clubs. Being active and moving is so important while in college, and Biola makes it easy and provides so many options! Grab some friends, and maybe try a new way to be active!
GET SOME REST
For the longest time, I thought that my health was just based upon working out and eating right and I was completely wrong. You need rest! And this comes in both physical rest and sleep, and also in mental rest as well. You will not succeed in college if you are not able to sleep and find times to give your mind and heart a break. I have found that during the days where I am not sleeping and I deprive myself of it, I struggle. I know that life is crazy in college, and believe me I have been there and am still there, and as a once-sleep deprived individual, actually prioritizing sleep is a game changer and life saver. If you are not sleeping, you are not living an actively healthy life. And you can! So go sleep!
HAVE SOME FUN
You are in college, and part of staying healthy in college is making sure you are doing things that actually bring you joy! Being healthy includes your mental and spiritual health, and so you need to make sure that you also incorporate into your schedule ways to have fun. These can be simple such as getting coffee or a meal with a friend, or they can even be like a beach or Downtown LA trip! Whatever it is, in the midst of the craziness of college and schedules that can fill, prioritizing time for you and being able to do what you love is so important. You need to keep your soul healthy, and I have always found that in times of stress where I can have time to do something that I genuinely love, I always feel better.
Overall, you are so capable of being healthy in college! You are allowed to have fun and try new things and have new adventures, and you are also able to be healthy and make the necessary choices! God gave you a body to glorify Him, let's make sure that we keep in strong! So go grab that Hydroflask full of water and let’s go.
You got this.