My name is Rianna Das and in May of 2014, I graduated from Furman University with a B.S. in earth and environmental science and political science. Currently, I am in alternative certification program called Teach Kentucky, teaching sixth grade science at all girls’ magnet school in Louisville, KY, while getting my masters in the art of teaching at the University of Louisville
When you’re sick as a child, high school included, it’s almost a refresher, a day off from the routine slow-paced days of bell-to-bell classes. Sometimes, your mom may have brought you soup or checked on you periodically or your dad would make those typical dad jokes about the state of your attractiveness during your illness. The comfort of your bed and watching TV all day was almost worth the fever, the chills, and the uneasiness in your stomach.
While in college, there are days that you will want to (and, inevitably will) skip class, it’s usually not because you’re feeling sick, but because you’ve were up until 2 am and you don’t even know what you were doing or your friends are all hanging out and leaving for class does not seem like an option.
Being sick in college feels like someone picked you up soaked you in warm water then dropped you down a hole, expecting you to climb back out (usually to the “comfort” of your lofted bed). And, not only to you have to get better in an environment that is a germ’s best friend (picture communal showers, lack of sleep, and dusty dorm rooms), you also have got to do it while finishing that economics paper and read three chapter in your sociology textbook.
My advice: take your vitamins and eat right. They don’t call it the freshmen fifteen because you’ll make fifteen new best friends or discover fifteen new hobbies, it’s because it’s easy to gain fifteen pounds. Along with that, remembering to eat healthy can impact your immunity in more ways than you ever thought possible.
It’ll be easy the first couple weeks, you’ll think that the salads in the dining hall still taste great and that you really don’t need that extra caramel whipped frilly drink at the school’s coffee shop. October will come around and the leaves will fall (or not depending on where you are), and you’ll be craving some of your mom’s apple pie or meatloaf. You’ll either forget to eat all day or spend an hour in the dining hall accidentally eating three cookies and talking to your new friends, who you are starting to feel you can confide in. Here, eating well and eating in general becomes more important than ever before.
The best advice I was ever given about college was to eat my broccoli, especially in October, you could think of it as, “Broc-tober.” Staying healthy in college is hard, especially when you you’re staying up to all weird hours in the night writing papers or watching dumb videos online with people on your hall all night. But, what will make those things worth it and more enjoyable is taking care of yourself. It’s something that a lot of college students learn the hard way, myself included, but if you can learn it quickly, it will make the start of your college experience much better.
You’ll be able to enjoy those late nights that turn into mornings, participate actively in the classroom, and be fully engaged in your college campus. If you’re unhealthy, you won’t be able to do any of those to the best of your ability. So, remember to eat your broccoli and take those vitamins.