Campus Life: The Battle To Stay Healthy

How does one stay healthy while away at school? I asked students at Buffalo State College about what they do to stay healthy while balancing their education.

The toughest decision for any high school senior is to decide whether or not to go away to school. Leaving home is a crucial moment in life as we, as young adults, have spent most of our childhood days always coming home to see our parents and pets and whatnot.

When we go away to school, however, we have to make another tough decision while at school. Do we eat healthily? Or do we let the freshmen, or whatever year you are in, 15 take over our bodies?

Let’s face it, campus food isn’t the healthiest of things to eat when living on campus. You practically eat the same things almost every day. Pizza, burgers, chicken tenders, etc., it’s not the best thing to eat every day. And while yes there are healthier choices like salads and fruits and vegetables, they always seem to be dried out.

And there is always the choice of going off-campus, but most of us college students are broke and can’t afford a nice meal outside of our school. Once in a while, it’s nice, but every day is too much.

And when you walk around any college campus, you see many students who have run out of money or swipes to even feed themselves. And as for exercise, well most students don’t have the time.

“I have class every day, Monday to Friday,” says Buffalo State Senior Sarah Fuchs, “After classes, I go to work at the bookstore. So I really don’t have the time to go to the gym at all. Once my day is over, I go back to my room and try and stay up doing my homework while not trying to fall asleep”.

“Because of my work and school schedule, I have to wake up early in the morning if I want to go the gym” senior Eryn Hopkins states “And by early, I mean 6:00 in the morning.”

And that’s just going trying to get a good workout in. The Houston Gym at Buffalo State was renovated and completed in July of 2014. It comes complete with a fitness center, basketball court, and a swimming pool that is open to the school community. However, the pool is only open Monday through Friday from 11am to 1pm.

Felecia Malcolm, a senior, says that swimming is her best workout. “I’m not into the machines and running. I feel like I’m melting when on the treadmill. With swimming, I feel more refreshed”.

When checking out the fitness center, it seems that more students tend to go during the afternoon and evening hours rather than the morning, as most students are done with classes. The fitness center stays open from six in the morning to almost eleven at night from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, it remains open until nearly 8 in the evening. On Sundays, the gym opens at ten in the morning until four in the afternoon.

But its not just about working out, its about eating the right stuff as well. SUNY uses Chartwells as it food provider. And for many students, it’s not the best option.

In one of Buffalo State’s dining halls, the Residential dining hall, it offers a buffet-style meal that brings all three courses to the students: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast is the favorite of the students, the lunch and dinner, on the other hand, could use a bit more work.

One student proclaimed that the pizza is either drowned in grease or sagging low to the floor. Another declared that the meat tastes a bit funny. Are these the kinds of meals that we want our students to be eating?

And what about Buffalo State’s retail dining hall? Sure it has better options like Subway and Salsarita’s, but the problem that we face here is that a) you have the same options to eat every single day and b) students are offered a certain amount of dining dollars to use in that dining area until it runs out.

“As a vegetarian, I can’t live my life on Subway,” Eryn Hopkins says “And the salad place here is disgusting. The salad is dry, and the tofu there taste funny”.

Now come on? A salad is supposed to be healthy? It’s not supposed to taste funny! What kind of business are we running here Buffalo State?

Now those who don’t eat what’s on campus choose to buy groceries from Wegman’s or Tops and make their own food.

“It’s the better option in my opinion,” says Felecia Malcolm “You may lose some money, but you can buy enough food that will last you for weeks. It’s much better than what is being served on campus.”

“I practically make my own pasta dishes at my place,” Eryn Hopkins says “I make my own salad with it, have a little bit of wine and bread, and my meal is complete.”

So if students can find better options off campus, why can’t they find anything on campus that is healthy for them? Is it because the school is too cheap to find healthier choices for their students? What can we do to fix this?

Staying healthy while living on campus is a struggle in its self. We’d like to think that we are healthy, but in reality, we’re just eating some of the most unhealthy food choices around. Judging by the public, it seems to be a better choice to just buy your own food and make it. Hopefully, we have some students who are master chefs here.

So don’t fret upcoming college students. You can always find ways to make healthier choices while you are away at school. Then once your home on your breaks, you’ll appreciate your parents home cooking.

Author: danielzuaro

A young, 21-year old trying to find his place in the world. A graduate of Buffalo State College with a Bachelor's in Media Production with a minor in Film Studies. I also enjoy writing, music, food, and animals (mainly my cats.) Everyone has a story! Mine just consist of me constantly blabbing. Come join me as I talk about subjects of my life and the world around me!

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