By Eric LeClair, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student
College students can really have it rough. Between school, working multiple jobs, having internships, and trying to make time for family and friends, one can get worn down. Many college students have healthy, active lifestyles and still succumb to illness. What they don’t know is: overworking your body actually takes a toll on your immune system and overall health.
I spoke to two college students, Taylor and Greg, about their health and lifestyles. I took the time to break down Taylor and Greg’s lifestyle while interviewing them. I wanted to get both a male and female view, and saw so many similarities between the two. Both college students were working two jobs in cities that required high income for comfortable living. On top of the 60-hour work weeks, they were required to be in classes both online and in person.
Taylor mentioned, “I lost track of what I was even doing. I was so stressed with school and finances that I chose the easy way as much as I could. That meant eating fast food, and not going to the gym because I wanted to sleep when I could. I got so deep into this lifestyle before my body finally gave out.” Greg, like Taylor, had the same going on in his life. They both got so invested in trying to balance it all that they couldn’t make their health a priority. This resulted in them having to back track their lives for recovery purposes.
It was towards the end of their college careers when they started getting sick regularly. They developed rashes at some point and were always tired. Greg recalls getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep but still being exhausted the next day. When they both decided to get an experts opinion and went to dermatologists, they found they had severely low vitamin D.
They had worked their bodies into the ground and without realizing it were taking leaps back because of the time they had missed working on their health. Vitamin D is one of the sneakiest types of vitamins that the body needs, and there are very limited amounts of ways to obtain it. I have experienced the same symptoms as both of my peers. I have gone through the rash stage and the always being tired stage. My body had completely shut down and was refusing to go any further. This is a much too common problem, with college aged students who are trying to accomplish it all.
Tips for College Students
- Never put your health on the back burner.
- Make sure you create a meal plan so that your meals don’t revolve around McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
- Understand the importance of Vitamin D. It all starts with knowledge.
- Make time for yourself. Take at least two days off every couple of weeks to get away from the stress you may be feeling.
We are all trying to survive this college life while maintaining our health and working jobs. This puts a toll on our bodies. We must realize that we are young and we shouldn’t be driving our bodies into the ground. Becoming more knowledgable about the topic is most important first, but acting on it is a whole separate thing. We need to make sure we are looking out for ourselves as well as our friends and families.