Column: It's Finals, eat your problems

As we approach the busy shopping season and return to campus, we find ourselves too broke to eat proper meals once again. With finals around the corner, it’s doubly difficult just to find time to sit down and eat with all the studying. Yet, there is hope. It is our responsibility as collegiate members to feed ourselves, and in doing so, we shouldn’t feel pressured to eat healthy. As long as we commit the rare act of sitting down for a meal, we should be entitled to eat whatever pleases our stomachs and not what pleases our diets.

Here’s the loophole to this argument — even though we like to flaunt the technical fact that we are adults, we are still college students, meaning that normal adult rules don’t all apply in certain circumstances. For example, as an adult, it is imperative to maintain good eating health. In college, however, the circumstances are totally different. We’re so caught up in trying to do well in school, especially this late in the game, that there’s bound to be some flexibility in those normal adult rules.

“There is a point where overindulgence can be unhealthy,” said Kelly Jackson, UA assistant professor of practice in Nutritional Sciences. “To support stress reduction and overall health, a healthy diet and physical activity most days, and adequate sleep are the real winning choices. A few rich meals here and there can be balanced with an overall healthy lifestyle to get the best of both worlds.”

Jackson tells us the speech we’ve heard a million times regarding eating healthy, and again, this doesn’t account for our special circumstances as college students. For adults, having a healthy diet is reasonable with adequate time and money for self care. As students, we don’t have adequate time for self care because we're supposed to put our education first at least 80 percent of the time.

We rarely have time to sit down for an actual meal, so when we do, we shouldn’t feel guilty that we order big at Chipotle, eat a whole pizza or whatever. Forget about gym and exercise — we barely have time for that too. The most important thing is that we are fed — we get enough exercise walking miles around campus each day to make up for a percentage of it.

And trust me, it’s way more likely that you’ll feel satisfied after indulging your appetite than not. This is actually the most important part, because feeling satisfied means feeling happy and this is sure to improve the overall college experience in the long run.

Remember how recharged you felt after eating your heart out at Thanksgiving dinner? By choosing to have these large meals, that recharged feeling can be incorporated into your daily college life, making your struggles suck less. No more being distracted from studies with hunger. Instead, opt to just eat, and you’ll be rewarded with the dedication necessary to pass this semester with good grades and some good eating.


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