RE-POST: 1st Year College Tips

I wrote this a couple years ago on my other blog, and I decided to re-post it. I had the idea to write something similar today, and suddenly I realized why it seemed so familiar: I had already written it! So there you have it, I hope you agree that it was worth the re-post.

Your guide to success as you embark on your next adventure after high school. 

Hello there, new college freshmen! I have compiled a list of what I think are some valuable tips that will help you navigate this big, scary world. Whether you’re headed for the community college down the street or the Ivy Leagues, this comprehensive guide will lead you through a successful freshman year.

1. Forget about sleep. Everyone says sleep is so important, blah blah blah, but we all know there are much more important (and memorable) ways to spend those 7-9 hours. Examples:

    • Eating Nutella from a spoon in your kitchen
    • Spying on other dorms from your window
    • Driving around barking at people
    • Watching this video:
    • Or this video:
    • Or this video:
  • Need I mention Netflix?
  • Reading your textbooks? No. If you get to that point, you’d better just go to sleep. You won’t remember what you read in the morning anyway.
2. Don’t let professors get the best of you. 90% of test questions are specifically formulated to torture your mind. The best way to defeat this system is just create face silhouettes in your bubble sheets instead of wasting effort. Then you will have brain power left over for the REAL tests in life.
3. When emailing a professor, always use all caps. This lets the teacher know you are serious. If you don’t use all caps you may as well put “don’t read this, I’m wasting my time by sending it” as the subject line.
4. Eat your roommates’ food. They put it in the apartment, they want you to eat it. I promise you’ll be doing them a favor. When they get mad at you, don’t worry. They just don’t know what they want.5. Freshman 15? Don’t worry about it. If it happens to everyone, then it won’t seem like it happened to anyone. It’s all relative, right?

6. You CAN read while listening to music. You won’t take it in. But guess how much it matters. Guess. GUESS.

7. Don’t wear sweats to class? Look presentable? More like wear whatever you want cause class is nap time AM I RIGHT?!?!?!

8. Bacon.

9. Greater satisfaction comes from cooking a meal without using a single cutting board than passing any number of difficult classes.

10. You haven’t experienced freshman year until:

  • You’ve laid on your kitchen floor spouting nonsense to your roommates because you’ve taken one too many finals that day.
  • You’ve saran wrapped a car or apartment.
  • You’ve have wrestling matches with your roommates because you are THAT GOOD at procrastinating.
  • You’ve watched an entire season of a TV show without doing a single homework assignment in between.
Seriously though, when I say you haven’t experienced freshman year until you’ve done these things, I mean your credits aren’t accepted until you have. Send a monthly report to your school so they can see that you’re dedicated to the stuff that REALLY matters for your education.
There you go. I hope that was helpful, because college is a new, scary world, and you need all the help you can get.
One final tip: disregard everything I just said.



What Does “Healthy” Even MEAN? Part 1: Why You Should Care

Don’t tell me you’ve never asked yourself this. Do diet sodas really make you gain more weight than regular sodas? Are granola bars better than candy bars, or not really? Does everything have to be organic? Should I become a vegetarian? Or should I worry about cutting out carbs? etc. etc.

Liz Lemon

It’s tough to filter through and figure out what’s true and what isn’t, what’s helpful and what’s a sham, what’s a fad and what’s actually beneficial. And sometimes it’s just hard to care enough. It’s easy to sacrifice long-term health for short-term satisfaction (late-night Sodalicious runs anyone? Free Chick-Fil-A days? When mom makes home-made brownies?) But the older I get (I’ve been alive for over 2 decades, this is serious), the more I research, and the more I just think about it, the more I realize that it’s worth it.

I’ve been studying a lot lately. (Okay just like the Mozart thing, when I say a lot, I mean browsing a little here and there out of curiosity). I have a minor thyroid problem (which I’ll talk about some other day because it’s surprisingly common) which has encouraged me to watch more closely what I eat, my sleep habits, and be more concerned with my overall health. Plus, getting old happens fast. I know I’m only 21, but, man…I can’t jump on the trampoline for 3 hours straight like I could when I was only half this old.

In upcoming posts I’ll share more about what we could actually do, but today I’ll start by explaining why I think everyone should care about this in the first place.

There are lots of obvious benefits of healthy living:

  1. More energy. What you fuel your body with and how much you exercise affects deeply your ability to perform everyday tasks. When you sleep enough, eat nutritious and filling food, and exercise regularly, your body can run smoothly, like a brand new car. If you live with good habits consistently, it shouldn’t be necessary to drink caffeine or other energy boosters just to get through the day.
  2. Extended life span. Disease prevention and healthy diet are deeply linked. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases in America. In 2012, there were 29.1 million Americans with diabetes, and only about 1.25 million were diagnosed with type 1. Research suggests that type 2, while one of the leading causes of death in America, is also generally preventable. And that is just one example! For a more extensive article about this click here.
  3. Better scholastic performance. Countless studies havebeen done to examine what helps adolescents su
    cceed in the classroom, and the data on health-related performance is ver
    y consistent. Here’s a lovely graph just in case you don’t believe me.schoolperformance
  4. Obesity is growing faster than ever. You’ve probably been hearing this everywhere for the past few years: that obesity is becoming a huge national health issue. Public schools have new rules about school lunch food and what can be included in vending machines. But legislating small things like that can’t change the habits of millions of people. Again, look at the graph. The percentage of children who are obese has more than tripled since the 70s. WHAT. If this doesn’t concern you, this should probably concern you.child obesity table5. Emotional stability and overall happiness. I know I’m not the only person who gets really grumpy when they’re hungry. When your body has the proper balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, everything runs more smoothly. You don’t have as many moodswings and emotional ups and downs. It’s easier to interact with other people at all times of the day.  

So, even if you don’t care about other peoples’ children being obese, you should at least want to feel good and prevent disease in your own life. I’m not saying it’s a simple thing, or that it’s easy, or that it’s even clear what you should do to be “healthy,” but I am saying that you should care at least a little bit. I’m not saying I’m good at this, I definitely have a long way to go. But for the reasons I just listed I’ve started to worry about it a lot more.

Stay tuned for my next post for a Comprehensive Guide to Overall Health (in other words: stuff I’ve noticed and things I actually believe based on what I’ve read and are still subject to change but hopefully might help you feel better and live healthier).

The Simplest Foods I Just Can’t Get Over

For some reason I felt like making a list of these because . . . let’s be honest, there’s really no reason. Except that I love food. So let’s talk about simple, delicious food.

PB & Nutella sandwich.

Avocado with salt.

Grilled cheese with tomato.

Berries with plain yogurt.

Chocolate chip cookies.

Quesadillas with salsa. (Oh man, Costco organic salsa is like heavennnnn)

Celery with peanut butter.

Banana with peanut butter.

Basically anything with peanut butter.

Are you hungry yet?

Just a reminder that sometimes the simplest foods are the best foods, and it’s not always necessary to make an extravagant meal or eat out to have something yummy. Plus more natural = more healthy a lot of the time. Hooray!

P.s. stay tuned for my comprehensive health guide based on my extensive research (guys, seriously, I skimmed like 1.5 books. BOOKS!).