It’s been a stereotype for a long time now that university students don’t eat healthily and in first year, I hardly did my fair share to dispel the theory. I tried my best to eat healthily and with three of my meals a week being meat-free, it was a good start from an outsider looking in. However, pizzas, chicken kievs and a tonne of chips made up the rest of the weeks meals and I therefore fit the bill for the stereotypical student.
Falling short of the mark on takeaways is something that I was also conscious of doing too frequently. With one on practically every corner in Lincoln, it’s impossible to avoid it and the discovery of Just Eat and Deliveroo did no favours to my university diet.
I’m not sure if it was the lack of time or if it was just for convenience but the healthier meals seemed to elude me when I first got to uni. Goodbye to the days of having 5 fruit and veg a day and hello to the prospect of asking your flat mates if a terry’s chocolate orange and tango counted as a fruit.
This was an ongoing problem but yet when I went back to Brayton in the half terms, everything changed. Reverting back to how I was when I lived at home during high school and college, I started to feel a lot better in myself for the change in diet and healthier eating. During this time, I knew that I had to find more time for cooking time when I moved into a house in second year. With better cooking facilities and a more relaxed schedule, I hoped that I would be able to stick to my healthier eating.
I have always had a skinny frame and a fast metabolism and that didn’t change throughout the first year of university. Despite this, I could see that my health was deteriorating and after spending a long period of time where you’re filled with flu because you’re so weak and susceptible to colds and viruses, I knew the change had to be made.
Since then, a whole year has passed since the seemingly unbreakable spell of unhealthy eating and during second year, I have eaten a lot healthier and managed to maintain it over the course of the year. This might be down to a clearer plan of meals, however, it is most likely down to my girlfriend and her vegetarian ways *
*no blog writers were bribed in the making of that last sentence*
Since this is the most essential part of moving into uni, I have a few tips for university students making the move. While ensuring your assignments are complete and you have clean undies’ to wear (lads, looking at you,) eating healthily could make or break your time at university. For me, first year will be looked back on as a fond memory but if I would have eaten healthier and stayed a bit more healthy for the majority of it, I could have grabbed a lot more opportunities I’m sure.
My first piece of advice would be to make a meal plan for the week ahead. This element tells you what you need to buy from the shops so you won’t have any food wastage and it also enables you to plan your meals each week around your course, social and other commitments you may have.
Making a list of your day to day activities might also be useful and it will allow you to know how much time each day you have to prepare and cook your meals.
Another element of food in first year I let suffer was the absence of breakfast from most of my days. Even if you have 9am or 10am lectures of seminars, breakfast is essential and even if you grab a cereal bar you have bought and take a mug of coffee in your travel mug, you’ve got enough to get through the session without an embarrassing stomach rumble (no one wants it and no one quite knows what to do when the room falls silent and a stomach rumble echoes through the lecture theatre. Don’t let this be you.)