Thursday, April 30, 2015

Things I wish I knew before entering college.

Hello internet!

As summer is right around the corner, I've had some time to really reflect on my freshman experience. It's crazy to think that this time last year I was so excited and scared for what college would be like. I have a lot of friends that will be entering college next year and they always ask for advice so I thought I would share my personal tips and things I wish I knew for surviving freshman year.

  1. College is hard. In High School I was the type of kid who never studied for tests, never read assignments but still did really well in all my classes. In college however you have to study, A LOT. A lot of classes do not offer homework, which I always like because it meant free points basically. The most important thing to remember is to stay on top of your school work and classes, they move super quick. Falling behind will be a major pain to make up for.
  2. Making friends isn't as easy as you think. You have to put yourself out there, in college lectures and classes you don't get to talk to kids in your class, making it hard to meet people. In the dorms is where you'll meet a lot of people, however it can be really intimidating. If you struggle to make friends, clubs and organizations are a great way to meet new people. I was struggling to make friends and so I rushed for a sorority and my branch of friends has extended tremendously.
  3. College is what you make of it. If you didn't get into your top choice and are stuck going to a safety school or second choice, don't be upset about it. You truly end up where you belong and going into college with a negative attitude will really make for a negative experience. If you're unhappy with your school you can always transfer to a new school that suits you better. First semester of freshman year if rough for everyone, I highly encourage just sticking it out, because trust me it WILL get better.
  4. Dorms are not as fun as you think. With only 2 weeks left I'm looking forward to being out of the dorms more than anything. Often, people do get roommates that they do not get along with, which will really damper the whole experience. There's really nothing that fun about sharing a room, bathroom, and shower for an entire year. Plus no kitchen, like hello I feel like I'm starving half the time.
  5. 8 AMs are tough to go to. I started high school at 6:30, sometimes having practice at 5:30 AM. But for some reason waking up for an 8 am lecture is so difficult, could be due to staying up much later in college. I recommend taking classes that start no earlier than 9 Am if you can help it. 
Well those are pretty much the most important tips I believe I can provide you. College is fun, stressful, and overwhelming, but such an amazing process. It is the time where you really become independent and mature and find out who you really are. So don't stress about moving out or super far, because it might just be the best decision you'll make!


Monday, April 27, 2015

How I made the Freshman 15 into the Freshman -30.

Hi guys!

I know, it's been awhile but I'm back and 8 months deep into my freshman year at college. Coming to college, I feared the freshman 15 like none other. Instead of the freshman 15, I've managed to make it the freshman -30+. Whenever people see my transformation they always ask how I've managed to lose so much in college. For those who are not in college at the moment, or do not understand the whole "Freshman 15" I'll go ahead and explain. The freshman 15 is the idea that one gains around 15 pounds their freshman year of college. This could be due to several factors:

  1. The dining halls at a lot of college campuses offer buffet all-you-can eat style food.
  2. The food served typically has no nutritional value
  3. Excessive partying=drinking and eating a lot more
  4. High stress=eating is an easy way to cope
  5. No parents around to make you eat your veggies or anything healthy
Those are the 5 main reasons I've seen people gain a lot of weight in college. But by making simple swaps and choices this freshman 15 is very avoidable.

  1. Simple, healthier swaps: In college I consume a large quantity of coffee, I dont drink coffee black which means I add a lot of cream and sugar to my coffee. I started adding almond/coconut milk to my coffee or nonfat if those are unavailable, as well as a calorie free sweetner. This is such a simple swap that really makes no difference in taste to me. At Starbucks my favorite drink is a caramel macchiato which contains about 240 calories for a grande, by simply asking for a skinny caramel macchiato you're cutting 100 calories off it while it still tastes the exact same.
  2. Use of school gym: many universities have a gym/rec center that is paid for by your tuition. Take advantage of this! I have found the gym to be a great place to really de-stress and take my mind off school. Some rec centers will also offer group exercises like yoga, which I have picked up and fallen in love with. 
  3. Walk and ride your bike around town: If your school is anything like mine, you have to walk and ride to get around, it's often hard and pricey to park on campus, so take advantage of that and walk! This will contribute not only to a healthier environment but also to the amount of calories you'll burn in a day.
  4. Just because it's all you can eat doesn't mean you have to: Don't just eat 100 cookies because they're there. When I eat I always see kids with stacks of plates, its definitely tempting to eat a lot but all you have to remember is  that you really don't need it. Eat to live, not live to eat.
  5. Calorie counting: this one might be a little iffy for some people and it's definitely not a requirement to lose weight. I have just personally found that when I'm not aware of how many calories I'm consuming, then I eat way more than I should. I use myfitnesspal, it's a free app that allows you to set weight loss goals and then will provide you with the amount of calories you should eat in a day to achieve those goals. I've made calorie tracking a habit and it's changed the way I eat tremendously by helping me stay on track.
Those are my top tips for staying on track/losing weight in college! It's not easy, but it's not impossible, you just have to stay positive and keep your goals in mind! It's very easy to let go of yourself in college, but by avoiding certain things you can definitely achieve your goals!