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May 07 2017
by Lauren Chin

6 Ways Food Can Improve Your College Experience

By Lauren Chin - May 07 2017
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Food: arguably the most important four letters right after "life." In a busy college student's schedule, one might not even realize just how large of a role meals and snacks play every day. Eating shouldn't be just a begrudging necessity though; food can be the launching point for a lot of fun and memorable habits and experiences!

1. Motivation

Pick your favorite food from the dining hall, supermarket or nearby business to be your proverbial carrot on a string to help you reach a goal! Make a poster or even a little post-it to remind you every day that at the completion of your next essay or next exam, you deserve that slice of cheesecake or that super green smoothie you have been dying to try out for the past month. With not only the looming deadline but also a fun reward coming up, you may find yourself working even more efficiently as you lick your lips to the thought of your favorite snack.

Pixabay

2. Breaks

Late nights in the library seem to be inevitable to the busy college student, but don’t rely on caffeine alone to get you through the night. Take a stroll outside away from your books and computer to get something more substantial than packaged cookies. You won’t be able to concentrate if your stomach is growling every minute, and foods like fruit juice, nuts and yogurt will energize you without the shock and jitters of coffee and energy drinks.

3. Professors

Your professors are living, breathing people who eat every day too! Office hour questions needn’t be restricted to just the course material; get to know your professor by asking them what places are good to eat around your campus or what their favorite dish to make at home is. You might not be able to slip your professors their favorite foods in exchange for an A on your next paper, but they can offer you other acts of kindness in exchange for showing that you care.

4. Health

Just because you’re away from your parents doesn’t mean you don’t have to eat fruits and veggies! The food you eat is fuel for your body, and most times complex carbohydrates in the form of your favorite potato chips just won’t cut it. Water, leafy greens, fresh fruit and whole grains are always available at the dining hall or supermarket and provide you with much needed vitamins, minerals and energy. No excuses for wondering why you feel so sluggish and sick after your third day of instant ramen and soda pop dinners.

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5. Cooking

Dining hall food may be good, but you can only eat so many Lasagna Thursdays so many times. Learn to make your favorite dish or try something new to add a fun experience to your mundane study and sleep cycle. If you’re feeling ambitious or want to make new friends, bake cookies for your entire class or dorm! If you don’t know how to cook, there’s no better time than college to start learning.

6. Friendship

Hanging out with friends is great, but food makes it even better! In between your busy class schedule and numerous activities, set aside at least 30 minutes a day to eat a meal with a friend to recap the day’s events and that funny story your professor shared. Take a walk to your favorite café and chat over a cup of tea or try out a new restaurant. New foods and new memories with the people you love at the same time!

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Now think about how your food experiences can improve your happiness and health and go eat to your heart’s content!

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

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Lauren Chin - Occidental College

Lauren Chin is a freshman at Occidental College interested in life sciences and music studies. She plays in the college band and orchestra and also sings in the college chorus. She loves the outdoors, sports, and making music covers. Follow her on Instagram @luckylauren32 !

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