By Cassie Whittaker, Contributing Writer —
Being successful in school can rule a student’s life so much that they forget what should be one of their top priorities: taking care of themselves.
Staying healthy and fit seems to be one of the greatest struggles for college students. So, how can a student balance work and school while also being healthy and active?
UTC students Michelle Phifer, Molly Blatt and former student Johnathan Lewis describe how they balance a healthy lifestyle on top of the stresses of college.
Michelle Phifer, a sophomore from Kingsport, Tennessee, makes healthy living seem easy. Phifer has competed in CrossFit competitions and is currently working on getting personal trainer certified. Her schedule is jam-packed with school, working at the ARC and prepping for competitions. She explained how she manages her time in order to be successful.
“I keep a super detailed calendar and I get anxious when I do not follow it. I write down everything I plan on doing, including my stretches and daily workouts,” she said. “I realize school is most important in my life, so I never workout until all my schoolwork for the day is done.”
Another issue students tend to run into other than time management is budgeting. Buying healthy foods at the grocery store seems like the more expensive option, but Phifer explained how she manages her money successfully.
“Like my calendar, I follow a pretty strict grocery list and budget,” Phifer said. “I know exactly what I’m going to get every time I go get groceries, and I know relatively how much it will cost. By doing this, I can budget my money, knowing each time I get groceries, it will last me x number of days/weeks, and cost me x amount of money, which makes it really simple.”
Molly Blatt, a sophomore from Memphis, has all the credentials to give advice on healthy living. Molly is involved in Chi Omega and Cru on campus while also working at Orange Theory Fitness; this keeps her planner booked. She has completed the Spartan race, 5K’s, two half marathons and competed in CrossFit competitions all while being involved in Greek life and Campus ministry. On top of this active lifestyle, her diet is intact as well.
Blatt eats a relatively paleo-based diet which could make being healthy in college even more challenging while using Mocs Bucks and Crossroads her freshman year. Blatt explained how she made the best out of UTC dining while being a freshman.
“My freshman year I would get an omelet about every other morning and a salad for lunch and I pretty much made my own dinner,” said Blatt. “It honestly comes down to controlling your body and knowing what you’re putting in it and what is going to help you feel better and lift better later in the day rather than eating, let’s say, Chick-fil-A and feeling like crap for the rest the day. So, I try to keep that perspective when I’m choosing what I eat.”
Time management, budgeting and healthy decisions are all important components on what it takes to maintain this lifestyle. Once a student knows how to manage all of these, he or she must stay motivated and form a routine in order to be successful. This is where a former student worth grabbing your notebook for comes into play.
Johnathan Lewis, a UTC alum, maintained an impressive lifestyle while in college.
During college Lewis was involved in The House ministries, SGA and Campus Recreation. On top of heavy campus involvement, Lewis competed in a powerlifting meet and deadlifted 420 pounds. All of these achievements could not have been done without determination and grit.
Establishing a routine is crucial in order to not only be organized, but to stay motivated. Morning routines are the keys to overall success in college and life. Lewis described his ideal morning routine that sets his day up for success.
“On an ideal day, I wake up and eat a piece of fruit and drink water then go complete some kind of exercise,” he said. “Then I come back and read my Bible and journal and pray, eat a healthy breakfast, then shower and prepare for the day ahead.”
Lewis, Phifer and Blatt’s routines are all quite impressive. The tips given by these three students are great ways of showing how being healthy in college is more of a choice rather than a challenge.
“College can be a stressful time, which makes it easy to put your health down the list of priorities,” said Lewis, “but this is the time to create the habit which you will carry for a lifetime. You can make it happen.”