They say that college should be the most care-free time of your life – boy were they wrong. Coming into college, I was that misguided freshman who really believed that I would never take an 8am, I’d have too much free time, and that independence was something I should relish in. I never imagined that my days would start at 7am (sometimes 6!), that watching TV would be a privilege and that with independence came financial independence from my parents’ bank account as well.
I will admit that freshman year lived up to all of those expectations. I spent hours on end in the dining hall talking to friends and spent any other time I wasn’t stuffing my face taking 4-hour naps and exercising. I made sure that my classes didn’t start before 10am and that I only had classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I could ensure a 4-day carefree weekend. My only complaints were that there were too many people in the gym and that not enough of my friends wanted to work out with me. I was becoming a bit of an addict. Boy did I take that year for granted.
Sophomore and junior year brought the woes of real work, internships, homework and studying (who does that?). It was definitely the years of time management. I rarely had time to study – much less sleep, eat and exercise. I had moved off campus and with that came last minute grocery store runs, tacos pretty much every night for dinner, housekeeping, and my favorite –bills. Not to mention the car woes that have pretty much plagued me even in present day. Life got expensive and stressful. I always had plans to do things just for me, but never got around to them. This includes exercising. It would have been great to hit the gym and work off some of that steam (and all those tacos) but I just didn’t have the time.
It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a busy life. Trust me – I’m currently a senior and have two internships, I’m taking 18 hours a week and I’m Vice President of an on-campus student organization. Oh and let’s not forget my infinite job and scholarship search and applications to grad school. But I am learning that even though it may not seem like I have time for fitness, there are a ton of other things I can do daily to stay in shape. For example I’ve adopted a healthier diet (much to my roommate’s dismay considering I cook all of the dinners in our apartment) and I always make sure to take the stairs and walk to every class – no matter how far. I make sure that I take time out on weekends to hit the gym and try (although not always successfully) to wake up early on the days I don’t have to be at work at 8am to go to the gym. I’ve reduced the amount of times a week I eat out (my wallet is very thankful for this one) and try not to keep snacks in the house – they’re too tempting and my self-control isn’t quite that good yet.
All in all, I guess what I’m trying to say is, all college students aren’t carefree and you don’t have to be a gym-o-holic to stay in shape. Life gets busy. Take the little steps daily that can improve your health tremendously. Take advantage of that “free time” and hit the gym. People are busy. Life is hard. We will make it - I promise.