The Torture of Waiting for Spring Break

 So unless you’ve been living under a rock or something, you know that NEXT WEEK IS SPRING BREAK. Which, of course, means that this week is one of the worst of the entire semester. I know that you’re probably just as done as I am right now (which would make you 500% done, by the way) so let’s skip the nonsense and jump right into why this week is the literal worst:

1. Midterms

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Exams, papers, projects, presentations, and generally hating life. There is so much to do, so little time, and literally none of me that wants to actually do anything. Midterms may even be more stressful than finals because I still actually kind of care at this point in the semester. Kind of.

2. Daylight Savings Time

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why does this have to happen right before spring break EVERY YEAR? Beside the fact that we’re all exhausted, over-worked college students who don’t get enough sleep as it is, now, during the worst week of the year, you’re going to take away a whole hour of precious sleep from us? No, it’s fine. Why don’t you just announce a worldwide shortage on coffee while you’re at it.

3. What is sleep

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Okay, so this one is kind of a combination of numbers 1 and 2, but SERIOUSLY WHO HAS TIME FOR SLEEP THIS WEEK? *Sobs uncontrollably*

4. Thinking of all the other fun things you could be doing right now

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My spring break group text will not stop blowing up, my weather app says it’s 80 degrees and sunny in San Diego, and all I can think about is how in seven days, I will be lying in my new bikini on Mission Beach with a margarita in my hand and not a care in the world. Not to mention, the three-hour season finale of The Bachelor is on tonight (#TeamBecca), there is an entire new season of House of Cards I have yet to allow myself to watch, and with the nice weather the West Coast has been having, it’s PRACTICALLY DAY DRINKING SEASON ALREADY. Sigh. These will have to wait.

5. Dieting

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Dear Girl Scouts, why must you insist on selling cookies right before spring break every year? I currently have twelve boxes of Thin Mints sitting in my freezer, begging to be eaten, but I can’t even touch them until March 22nd, when I can drown my sorrows of returning to the real world by eating an entire sleeve in one sitting. Not mention, it’s Lent, meaning I can’t have chips or candy. PLUS, hello, I’ll be in bikinis all next week, so there goes any chance of me eating carbs anytime soon. I guess I’ll just cry and eat some carrots.

6. So close, yet so far away

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Everyone knows that spring semester is inevitably not as great as fall semester. There’s no football, and therefore no homecoming, and the general thrill of returning to your beloved college campus has worn off. This year has dragged on since August and we are all completely worn out. What we need is just one week to let loose and blow off some steam, but that week will come just about one week too late. In the words of Miley Cyrus, “I can almost see it, that dream I’m dreaming…” And that dream is spring break, and this week of pure torture is the only thing standing in my way. SPRING BREAK PLEASE COME SOONER.

Want to share in my glorious misery? Tell me on Twitter what your spring break plans are and I might retweet you!

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Step Away from the Microwave

Growing up, including while you were in high school, you likely had the luxury of a parent cooking for you on a regular basis. Each morning, you had breakfast ready to go before school, a lunch packed (or lunch money ready), and dinner waiting for you when you returned home. If you’re at all like me, you completely took this for granted.

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Even during my first year of college, I didn’t realize how nice it was to never have to cook for myself. I lived in my college’s dorms, so I had a meal plan, meaning that anytime I wanted to go to the cafeteria, I knew there would be a variety of options waiting for me when I arrived. My sophomore year, when I lived in my sorority house, we had a chef who cooked all of our meals. Again, I never appreciated how nice it was to have hot meals available 24/7.

That is, until my junior year. That is the year I moved into a house, and I had to start grocery shopping, cooking for myself, and cleaning my own dishes. This was not something I was prepared for. At first, I did what many people do the first time they grocery shop for themselves — I bought all junk food, which was awesome for about two weeks until I started to feel sick.

Even after I put down the Cheez Its and mint chocolate chip ice cream, I noticed something: I began to buy food that required either no or very little preparation. I bought food like cans of soup or frozen chicken nuggets, which I could just throw into the microwave, or yogurt, which I could simply grab and go.

This food, while not as bad for me as the junk food I had been eating, was not providing me with proper nutrients. Home cooking is important for overall health, and can save you money in the long-run. Nothing brings out the nutrients in food like freshly preparing a meal, and frozen meals (often packed with chemicals, salts, and other preservatives) do not count as healthy substitutes! In addition, if you believe you can get the same benefits of home cooking by eating out, I implore you to add up how much all of those $5 meal deals cost you.

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I, of all people, understand that life gets in the way. We get busy and don’t have the time or energy to prepare meals for ourselves at home. So don’t worry, because there is nothing wrong from grabbing a salad or sandwich from your on-campus deli every once in a while, nor is there anything wrong with the occasional Lean Cuisine — so long as neither of these become your go-to routine.

Instead, spend some time each week meal-prepping or learning a new recipe. Once you learn the basics of cooking, the task doesn’t seem so daunting. Planning out your meals ahead of time, and putting time and energy into preparing your own food can incentivize you to eat healthier. As an added bonus, preparing a home-cooked dinner can be a super romantic date. And let’s not forget that all the money you save can be applied to your weekend shenanigans!

What will be the next meal you learn to cook? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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How To: Stay Healthy in College

In light of recent holidays…

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We can all agree that the holiday season is a time when we all put on a little, shall we say, insolation… Unfortunately, college is also historically a time when this happens. Almost everyone goes into college believing they’ll avoid the dreaded Freshman 15, and many even successfully do so for a while, until one day, they wake up, and…

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And then they’re like…

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Having had a few years to learn what it takes to stay healthy in college, I feel, like, super qualified to pass on my wisdom to all of you. Here are just a few tips:

If you have a designated number of swipes into the cafeteria, don’t feel like you have to eat there more often than you normally would just to get rid of them. If you’re hungry, go eat. If you’re not, oh well. If your swipes expire each week, consider swiping in a starving super senior…If you can exchange the swipes for food bucks, take advantage of that!

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While eating in the cafeteria, don’t grab one of everything just because you have so many options in front of you. Eat like you would at your mom’s house: one entree, one side dish, and one vegetable dish. If you don’t eat at the cafeteria, meal prep at home to plan your diet and save you time.

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Swap one meal a day for a salad. I’ve never seen a better salad bar than the one in my college cafeteria, so take advantage of your campus’ ~delicious and nutritious~ options.

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Don’t go overboard on the soda machine. Drink at least one glass of water with every meal, then refill your water bottle and carry it around with you. Grab fruit and nuts from the cafeteria as well, and take them with you on campus. You’re less likely cave in and buy something unhealthy like Panda Express if you already have snacks with you. If nothing else, chew gum to help fight cravings. Chewing gum while studying also helps you retain information!

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As tempting as it is to abuse the soft serve machine, try sticking to just one dessert a day. Avoid snacking on processed foods, especially while doing something mindless like studying or watching TV. You don’t need all those empty calories.

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Be aware of the nutritional facts of alcohol. A typical glass of beer has 154 calories, while a typical glass of wine has 123 calories, and a typical vodka soda has 84 calories. All those drinks can really add up overtime, and nobody likes a beer belly.

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If you can, try walking to class rather than driving. It’s just one more way to stay active!

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Sign up for a PE class one semester, even if it’s something fun like yoga. They’re usually only one credit, but that still counts toward your electives you need to graduate! Plus, you kind of have to go since it’s for credit. Otherwise, get a gym buddy who will help you stick to a workout routine and motivate you to improve. Stick to your schedule and reward yourself for doing so.

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If all else fails, there are apps you can download to help you keep track of your daily caloric intake and exercise regimen.

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What are your tricks for staying healthy in college? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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