Staying Healthy While Being a College Student

Kayla Decaro, Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD, MA–Many American International College students find it challenging to keep up with their health and fitness goals, but some students still find ways to remain healthy even with the challenges.

Keeping up with health and fitness can be tough while being in college, especially with the stresses of class, homework, studying, and keeping up with one’s social life.

Mairead Kealy, AIC Student (Kayla Decaro)

Students find it difficult to eat healthy from the Hive and the Dining Commons because of the many unhealthy options offered. Mairead Kealy, a junior at AIC, proposed a solution to this problem. She said, “By offering more chicken at the salad bar,” she would be able to eat healthier while at the DC. “Some days they never have the chicken out,” said Kealy. “There are ways to eat healthy on campus, but they offer a lot of unhealthy foods that are tempting to eat.”

Arianna James, AIC Student (Kayla Decaro)

Arianna James, a junior at AIC said, “The Hive and Dining Commons don’t have a ton of healthy options. But they do offer some, so I am able to eat healthy for the most part.”

James added, “The Hive and DC could provide more healthy options that actually taste good, including plant-based foods and more options for meat.”

Marcus Thomas, AIC Student (Kayla Decaro)

Marcus Thomas, a graduate student at AIC, also commented on the food offered at the Dining Commons. “The DC could create a QR code survey asking students what kinds of foods they would like to see, so the DC can accommodate the majority of students.”

According to AIC students, the DC and the Hive do offer some healthy options, but not enough. This makes it hard for them to eat healthy meals everyday.

Some students also find it difficult to exercise while being in college. Kealy said, “I used to be able to exercise while in school, but now I’m always in class or studying, so I never have time. When I do have down time, I prefer to watch TV or spend time with my friends and family, or just relax.”

On the other hand, James tries to take advantage of the resources AIC provides for exercise. “During the warmer months,” she said, “I usually use the track to get in a walk. Otherwise I do YouTube workouts in my dorm room.”

“AIC could include exercise classes and fitness programs for students to go to to get them engaged while still meeting their goals,” added James. “I would go to yoga classes if they offered them on campus,” she said. “Fitness clubs would be a good idea for students who want to get healthy and as a way to motivate each other.”

Thomas agreed with this sentiment. “AIC could offer a gen ed class which could teach weight training and how to create time for exercise while being busy,” said Thomas.

Many college students hold part-time jobs off campus or have other responsibilities that take away from their time to exercise and eat healthy.

James said, “My personal life and responsibilities outside of school can take away from my time to exercise if I don’t manage my schedule well.”

“Working and going to class all day can drain your body,” Thomas said. “Mentally, it makes you not want to exercise because your brain is already fried.”

Kealy is one of many AIC students who has a demanding work schedule. “I work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) so 12 hour shifts take away from my free time,” she said. “Also, the workload I have as a nursing student makes it challenging to get exercise in. I’m always sitting at my desk or in the library studying.”

With college students being so busy, eating healthy and exercising are not always their first priorities. Students prioritize coursework rather than their health. Although homework and studying are important, so is keeping up with health and fitness. According to AIC students, being in college can take away from their ability to eat healthy and exercise because of the limited resources available on campus.