Emma’s (Declassified) College Survival Guide: Treat Exercise like a Class

If a physical activity was not in your routine last year, it’s time to add it in. If it was, it’s time to reaffirm that commitment. Obviously, exercise does wonders for your physical health, but it also helps foster mental clarity and emotional stability—two much-needed qualities in order to get good grades and enjoy these next years. It is easy to say you will work out regularly, but putting this statement into practice is not such a breeze. Most days, you will feel like there is so much to do that there is no way you can fit in a workout—and most days that feeling is wrong. It is not that you don’t have the time; it is that you didn’t commit yourself to make the time. Exercising is about prioritizing. You’ve paid a large sum for your education, so you prioritize your classes and you manage to attend most, if not all. To help make physical activity a regular part of your routine, try treating it like a class. Carve out specific times in your schedule every week, and show up for yourself the way you show up for your professors. Go hit the weight room. If you enjoy working alongside an instructor, try attending a fitness class down at the Athletic Center. If you need extra motivation, ask a friend to join you. If you are still struggling to make it, sign up for an intramural sport and let your team keep you accountable. Not a fan of working out with others? Lace up those sneakers and head up to the track or around campus for a jog. Want to sweat in solitude? Ask your roommate to work in the lounge while you browse YouTube for whatever kind of exercise routine you are in the mood for that day. Before class, after class, between classes—make the time to respect your body, and value your health as much as you value your education.