Fresh. Fit. Focused.: Starting the school year off right

Melissa Schmitz, Staff Writer

The new school year started last week, so why not let this be your opportunity to start something new? Perhaps you will undertake new goals, like eating healthy on campus, starting and maintaining a new fitness routine, creating a study system for yourself or perhaps even all of the above. Maybe you’re already pretty fit and are just looking for some extra encouragement.

If any of these are your goals, you’re in luck, because I’m here to help you accomplish them. This column is dedicated to helping you live a healthy and balanced college life that will benefit both your body and mind.

This article is not concerned with the nitty-gritty details of getting yourself started on creating a new lifestyle. The most important thing you can do is to start working towards your goal. You don’t need to make any extreme changes right now. For many people, that is too overwhelming. And that’s okay. Being a healthy and fit person is a lifestyle that you accustom yourself to over time and everyone has to start somewhere. In this column, I’ll provide you with some tips, sans excessive explanation, to get you started.




Start replacing some of your sodas with water, tea and milk; and introduce healthy alternatives to your favorite junk foods.

Get a rough idea of what a healthy amount of calories is.  This is not counting calories, but only acknowledging them. If you eat three meals a day, around 500 calories per meal, plus two roughly 250 calorie snacks, it will suffice and bring you to the “average” 2,000 calories per day.

After a workout, always replenish with a post-workout meal or snack.




Don’t use equipment you don’t know how to use. Either ask for help or start out with bodyweight exercises. Similarly, pay attention to form. A helpful tool is to use video workouts that demonstrate proper form.

Set small goals for yourself. Big goals can be really overwhelming for a beginner and may even deter you from pursuing fitness at all. Start small and build from there. Besides, you may get into a workout, feel great, and push on for longer than planned.

Get a workout buddy. As a beginner, motivation can make or break you, so if you force yourself to keep accountable by having a friend watch your back, you’re more likely to keep up with what you’re doing.




Do not procrastinate. Just don’t do it. It happens sometimes, but your priority should be to get it done on or ahead of time. Once you get behind, there’s a chance you may never catch up, so stay on top of things.

Space out your studying. Don’t cram, either. It doesn’t work, period. Try an hour a day for starters. Whatever it is you do, it will seem a lot less time consuming and be a lot more effective.

Don’t rely solely on study groups. As my physics professor made very clear last week, it doesn’t matter if you can do it all correctly when your friends are there, you need to be able to do it by yourself. So practice by yourself often. Use study groups as a way to check your work and learn from each other. If you need help you can always ask someone, like your professor, a friend or a tutor in the Office of Academic Advising and Support [I am one of those tutors… That’s why we exist, to help you!]


I hope these starter tips are helpful. Look forward to my future articles where I will delve deeper into these topics.

Stay healthy!