College Students -

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TSE, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I am a Pre-Industrial Design major and am a freshman right now. I am competing with 150 others for 20 seats in the industrial design major.

    This is an extremely competitive field and I have been working my ass off. Literally the only day I usually have off is Saturday and that is only because I push all my work to Sunday because I think it's good to have a day to enjoy yourself, even if it means the next day is much more difficult.

    My problem is, though, is I am not getting enough exercise. By the time my classes end and I do my homework in a day, I am so exhausted that all I want to do is hang around, talk to people, and watch a movie or two.

    I haven't noticed any weight gain, but what I have noticed is I am losing muscle tone.

    In addition, my diet hasn't been that great. I do not have a meal plan so I cook all my food, which are usually simple things like homemade stir frys with veggies and stuff, but that's the only time I eat my greens and I usually snack inbetween meals.

    My question is, in particular, is how do I balance school, stress, and a healthy lifestyle? It seems damn near impossible right now.
  2. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Hey another ID student!

    I'm currently a senior, and I pretty much had the same concern. You know what? I couldn't do it all. That meant exercise was the first to go. It is really hard to keep on a regular schedule when everything is revolving around school work. I still ate healthy, I'm pretty conscious of my nutrition, but exercise was minimal. Especially when winter came around. If I haven't done any exercise in a while, I usually just run, it's quick and easy.

    2nd/3rd year gets a little easier just because you know the routine. I don't know what else to tell you. It can be done (a nice balance), but I think the sleep/physical activity/nutrition deprivation in college won't kill you. I know students, that eat extremely unhealthy and still seem to be breathing.

    Good luck
  3. MacFan782040 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2003
    Scranton, PA
    Alcohol ;) Half kidding. I was in your shoes a couple years ago. Stressed over classes, exams, projects, meetings, clubs, personal stuff, and work. How did I deal with it? I just tried to treat school like a 9-5 job. I got all my work done between then and had my nights and weekends free (for the most part).

    I never exercised besides walking to class either. I wish I had. Fast forward to today, I work full time and live alone. I cook my own meals, usually something simple like pasta and a vegetable, or even something simpler like a sandwich and canned fruit. I used to go to the gym for an hour in the evening, but I got a dog now so I usually walk her for 45 minutes after work.

    I learned over the years that being organized goes a long way. Get yourself a nice calendar and clean up your workspace. Even things like my computer desktop messy would stress me (still does). Relax, try running or jogging if you'd like, and don't let the next day get to you. Everything will work out in the end. And then go enjoy a beer or 2 :D
  4. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Definitely have acquired a taste for Spiced Rum since I got here.

    Thanks for the help guys. :D
  5. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Try maximizing your time, in my first years of university I use to spend a lot of time on my computer half-working half-slaking off. It gets tiresome because I would spend ton of time with the mind set of doing work but not actually getting far. I'm not saying this is your case but make sure you don't get into that pitfall. I'm pretty sure you can fit in an hour or two a week to do some sports. Try to do a sport that's not on your own, it can be a social outing at the same time. You just want to clear your mind and get your blood pumping. To me going to the gym or jogging feels much more like a chore than something I want to do. Playing a sport with some friends on the other hand is something to look forward too.
  6. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    It sounds like it's not a lack of time (a movie or two), but rather an (understandable) lack of motivation because you're tired from working all day.

    So my suggestion is pretty simple: just make yourself do it. Skip the second movie, and go for a long walk, a run, to the gym... whatever. It will be tough at first to make yourself go, but get into a routine and soon you'll get angry at yourself for (inevitably) missing a day. I'm trying to get it back into my daily routine (my problem is similar to yours in that I'm often tired, but exacerbated by the fact that some days I literally work 8:00 am - 9:30 pm or later, so finding the time is hard, too.

    If that's a non-starter, then try working out in the morning. That way you don't have the "I'm tired from the day" excuse. ;)

    Either way, I find that physical activity (even just walking daily) does a lot to reduce stress and make an overall improvement in your life. So I highly recommend it. :)
  7. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
  8. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Work out what things you really need to work on, relax about the rest.
    Learn to multi task (cook/work/eat at the same time.
    Work while you watch movies.
    Do more high intensity exercise (weights) as it saves time.
    Cook big meals that you can eat for a few days, like big pasta dishes.
    Don't sleep the day away. I used to love sleeping all weekend in my first year, now I go to bed at 1-2am and wake up around 8-9. Oversleeping will only make you feel tired.

    EDIT: I FORGOT THE BEST PART! Don't underestimate the power of slacking off once in a while, having free time is great for you every now and then, just don't indulge too much. Go to parties, take a trip, have some fun.
  9. Daffodil macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    In a sunny state of mind
    Do you live on-campus or off? Even though I lived on-campus most of my time at college, I got a ton of exercise walking everywhere. Or if you live not ridiculously far away from school, get a bike. The real trick is somehow working exercise into your routine so you're not constantly debating with yourself whether you should go exercise or not, because then the lazy/tired side will win more often than it should.

    Same with food. You find yourself snacking a lot between your healthy meals? Consider fewer more frequent meals to cut down on your snacking, or buy healthier snacks (fruit, trail mix, etc.) so you're not tempted by having the unhealthy stuff lying around.

    I realize both these suggestions take a fair amount of self-control, which you may feel like you've already used up on getting all your work done, but you really win in the long run if you can establish healthy habits early in your college experience so they stick with you without much resistance in the long run.

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