BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB)
With classes well underway, college students are quickly getting into the rhythm of campus life. Unfortunately, that rhythm doesn't always follow a healthy beat.
"I had to adjust very quickly to getting two hours of sleep every night and 16 on a Saturday," said sophomore Alexander Adams.
At the LSU student health center, the director of wellness and promotion, Julie Hupperich, explains that students -often on their own for the first time- tend to put their health on a back burner. One of the biggest problems students have to overcome is stress, says Hupperich.
Bad time management and loaded schedules mean that nutrition is regulated to quick snacks between classes and exercise is limited. This can lead to things like the dreaded freshmen fifteen, sleep deprivation or even more serious problems. Hupperich says it's vital to develop healthy habits early starting with good nutrition, regular exercise and at least seven hours of sleep a night.
"I think good time and stress management skills are just so critical. If you can establish those early in the semester it can make a big difference at midterms and finals," said Hupperich.
While being young definitely has its advantages for health, some young adults believe they're invincible leading to risky behavior. Hupperich says many times, students don't realize the potential short term consequences of drinking too much or other illicit actions. She says that, in addition to grades, relationships and health can take a big hit.
"We want students to try and employ some protective behaviors that will minimize fighting, safety issues, sexual violence, any of those unwanted outcomes," said Hupperich.
While navigating health issues like nutrition, safe sex practices or stress management can be tricky the health center has many resources for students including counselors, nutritionists as well as primary and specialty care.