Thursday, December 2, 2010

College Dorm Life

Studying with my RA and several wingmates

So before moving into the dorms, I attended a community college for 3 years.  AMAZING experience!  I got good grades, made friends, and stayed pretty healthy.  However I've come to find out that this is a little more difficult when living on my own.  Without my parents around to be setting a curfew, feeding me healthy foods, or even waking me up if I accidentally sleep in; this gets a lot harder.  Some of the main pitfalls I've dealt with this semester as opposed to my past experiences are:  staying up late, avoiding the veggies in the cafeteria, procrastinating, and not exercising.

Believe it or not, these are all connected to each other, why grades tend to drop and the weight go up during the "freshmen" year.   I'm still in the process of fixing these newly developed habits, but this is how I'm starting to do so.

Eating Healthy, when all your meals come from the cafeteria... and you no longer have a kitchen

At first I thought the cafeteria was so delicious, and would try to grab everything, cause I wanted to taste it ALL!  Seriously, all-you-can-eat buffet!  This is the start to a bad habit.  If you're living on-campus, most likely you'll be eating these meals everyday for the next 4 years.  So you don't have to eat every single thing they have there in your first month.  Spread it out. enjoy it.

Second, if you don't eat vegetables you're either gonna gain weight or get sick.  So you don't like brocolli or zuchinni, head on over to the salad bar.  There are plently of options, you can either eat it by itself or add some ranch.  For me, I like to buy limes and mix the lime juice with some salt on spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers to to make a super delicious and healthy salad!

Lastly, you don't have to stop eating the sweets, just limit them.  Rather than having a cookie at every meal, only have one during dinner or every other day or once a week.   Trade out the soda or juice for a cup of milk or water.  Plus don't think that eating "healthy" means going vegan or turning into a vegetarian, meat is good for you.  Just don't over eat, stop when you're full, and drink lot's of water.  That's the main way to stay healthy.


So I thought I had a problem with procrastinating while I lived at home... well good luck at college!  Now I have 2 roommates and a wing full of girls ready to do something fun.  Almost anywhere I go there's someone who wants to talk or something to be distracted by.  Though it's important to make friends and not focus solely on hw, procrastinating too much can lead to bad grades or bad sleep habits. 

A good solution to this problem is to find a quiet place where you can study, if this means talking with your roommates about times of the day to dedicate to hw, going to the library, finding a place off-campus to study, or even making study groups; do this.  It will help so much.

Working Out

Well the gym here was only open to athletes, making us regular students have to find a gym or suffer the consequences.  Thankfully they opened it on TTh for regular students from 11:00am-12:00pm.  one hour.  Unfortunately, that's not enough, 2 hrs a week is nothing.  You can't really depend on a gym.  So my suggestion would be, find a workout buddy.  Someone who will truly motivate you to get up and do something.  With hardly any chores, and just hw, it's so easy to just end up lying around all day or just chillaxing with friends. 

Even though taking the 1 flight of stairs to get to my wing is better than riding the elevator.  This cannot be my only exercise. I realized this after I gained the dreaded "freshmen 15", and my first semester is not even over yet!  Since I have 8am classes every morning, I don't feel like running around outside at 6am when it's freezing.  Maybe this means, going down the hall to the study lounge to do some yoga or something, or riding my bike to the store! Remember maintaining physical fitness is so important.  It makes you more productive and your sleep more restful.

Pulling Off All-Nighters, Partying till the Sun Rises, Staying Up Late, and how this affects you...

Though the bragging rights that come with saying you partied all weekend, stayed up till 3 watching movies, pulled an all-nighter to finish your big term paper, are kind of fun to have; this eventually ends up not being so fun.  When you're tired and have to be in class at 8am and interacting, it's hard.   I tried doing this thinking it would not affect me.  However it did. I had lot's of difficulty bonding with my roommates cause I never really saw them.  I spent all morning in classes, afternoon sleeping, evening studying, and night hanging out with my apartment friends and then getting back at like 1-3am, and feeling exhausted in the morning.  Though I didn't go to the apartments every night, I did stay up late. Why?  cause I didn't finish my hw for the next day, cause I was too busy napping.  and why was I napping? cause I stayed up late doing hw.   So how exactly do you fix this sort of problem?  Easy. stop napping.  Simple solution.  Difficult to actually pull-off however.  Rather than napping do whatever you can to stay awake and do your hw during the daytime.  Then by nighttime you'll be absolutely exhausted and have no difficulty going to bed early.  :)  I tried this and it worked. Not only did my sleep improve, but so did my social life.   I got my hw done early so I didn't have to stress out at night, and in the evening I could spend some bonding time with my roommates and wingmates. 

Making Close Friends

My first few weeks at college were soo much fun.  Hardly any hw, so many people, and a lot of time on my hands.  However spending my time playing pool, watching movies, making small chit chat with people did not help too much in the long run.  I hardly spent anytime with my wingmates thinking "I'll just hang out with them later."  A month and a half later in the semester, the more and more I realized people were starting to find out who their "true" friends were and were not wasting so much time in artificial relationships.   I knew mostly everyone one on campus, but they were all aquaintances.  I had no close friends, and I was lonely. 

Coming from a family where we were all really close to each other, this was hard.  On those days I really just needed encouragement I had no where to turn to.  I had dismissed those around me for others who didn't really care what was going on.   Now I came witht the assumption in mind, that I would be BEST FRIENDS with my roomies.  But that didn't happen.  Our first few weeks were a pain.  As roommates we got along, they weren't messy or bothersome, but as friends not as much.  We hardly had anything in common, and I felt left out.   The two of them had already become best friends and I hardly knew them.   After several big roommate arguments, I finally came to the realization, that they didn't have to be my best friends, just friends.  and that it was okay to make close friends with someone else.   Once this happened I was able to make close friends and all of a sudden, living at college was so much easier. 

So anyhow, sleep (at good times), study (during the day), eat healthy foods, exercise, and make close friends :)  and that will pretty much help you a lot.


  1. We're friends! You can always come to me & we have great discussions & "coffee" time! (without coffee!)

  2. I was not sure I took the best decision of you going to college this early in your life, but once again God had better plans for your life than I ever did. He allowed you to go there and I can see how much you have grown. I am very proud of you! REMEMBER, you are in God's hands.
    Brittany, thanks for friends like you (without the coffee)

  3. Living in a college dorm is a whole new world. But it really depends on you on how you will manage living for the whole duration of your college life. Also, it is essential to know your surroundings, especially with managing your social life without sacrificing your study times, or your sleep cycle, and how you can take care of yourself, to be able to hang in there.