By Chelsea LoCascio
A college student’s fridge is a carb and sugar wasteland of frozen pizzas, leftover Chinese food and ice cream. If you’re lucky, you might find a half-rotten apple behind the case of beer.
No matter what anybody says, eating healthy during college is a near impossible feat. Between classes, studying, sleeping, working and trying to have a social life, there is not enough time in the day to consciously think about what you’re stuffing your face with between classes or right before you pass out from sleep deprivation.
Time is not the only problem, as the typical college student runs into the issue of not having enough money for nutritious foods. Every time a family member tries to tell me to just buy oatmeal for a filling breakfast or almonds for a satisfying snack, I appease them with a “great idea, I’ll get on that” and then go back to my dorm room and eat my feelings (a whole row of Oreos).
It’s a struggle that anyone outside of college doesn’t seem to understand. Most of us want to be healthy, but the idea of parting with real money at the grocery store, rather than the College’s points on campus, breaks my heart and my bank account. I’m trying to get the most out of college academically and have not been able to get a job this semester because of that. Many other students are in a similar situation and they too cannot afford a healthy diet. Or, there are those who live off campus and work just enough to pay their bills and buy some ramen.
Since I live on campus, I’m often asked why I don’t just eat the healthy food served by the College. Well, I would if it were easier. The healthiest options at Eickhoff Hall are at the salad bar, which is boring and not filling, or the fruit and the occasional vegetable. Honestly, that’s not a lot of healthy options if you really think about it. Yes, there are those foods, but there’s also an ample array of pasta, burritos, burgers, fries and cookies. I’d take all of that over soggy fruit or balsamic-soaked vegetables any day. The Convenience Store isn’t much better. Why buy the wilted lettuce when you can buy a box of mac and cheese or candy?
To make our guilt about unhealthy eating worse, the World Health Organization gave us the worst news of all: they found a link between bacon and cancer. Was it shocking? Not really, as we already knew it could give you a long list of other illnesses, but I think it made us college kids realize a few things. The first being that we should try to avoid bacon — even though everything can give you cancer nowadays — and second, that our health can be at more of a risk then we think.
We’re in the prime of our lives and a couple of frozen dinners a week won’t kill us. Not now, they won’t, but we’re on an unhealthy path that can lead to obesity, alcoholism, addiction, diabetes and countless other diseases that might just put your consumption habits in perspective. For now, eat what you can to survive these four years at the College, but be mindful that your unhealthy diet should have an expiration date, unlike the Twinkie in the back of your cabinet.
Students share opinions around campus
“I think it’s definitely hard (to eat healthily) in college. I think it’s living on campus and not having a kitchen… The options you’re given aren’t as healthy.”
“It’s hard to eat (healthily) on campus… the only healthy options are sushi or salad. They need to offer more options to take back to your room.”