Kicking college habits

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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I loved almost everything about college.

Samantha Emann

By Samantha Emann, special to the Times-Herald

The late nights, early mornings, assignment pressure and all the friends that revel and suffer along with you – I wouldn’t trade any of that for all the well-rested weekends in the world. 

I say this like it has been decades but I graduated in 2012. Still, it sometimes feels like years since I moved and started working full time.

I love all my friends and memories but I do not love how I treated my own body. My diet consisted mostly of caffeine and carbs. The pizza delivery guy knew my first name and I did not know the first thing about what my high stress, high calorie lifestyle was doing to me both physically and mentally.

The worst habit I gained was not my affinity for missing my 8 a.m. philosophy class but my daily energy drink.

Red Bull, Nos, Five Hour Energy, I tried them all. My caffeine hit of choice was Monster. Coffee was not enough and before I knew it I was drinking at least one a day.

 I do not like to say I was addicted but it was not long before I could not go a day without one. That combined with my shudder-worthy diet saw my caffeine intake rising right along with my waistline. 

Never mind what other scary chemicals are in those monstrous concoctions.

I will never regret my college experience but I do regret the first time I bought a Monster after an all-nighter for the sake of my grades.

But this is not a tragic tale. 

My name is Samantha and I am a Monster-holic. I have not had an energy drink in three weeks and three days and counting. I feel better, sleep better and am down to a maximum of two black coffees a day.

Though it is only a small one, I am fiercely proud of this step towards good health. 

On another positive note I went grocery shopping and was very proud of the fact that my cart contained nothing that came out of a freezer or had the word instant on the box.

This new attitude towards food will hopefully allow me to eventually undo all the harm I did in college. I trained to do my job and now I have to train myself to eat well. I am doing this with the same single-minded focus with which I stayed awake when I managed to get to that 8 a.m. class.

I am gradually growing out of my college habits and into healthier, more intelligent ways of eating. Now for the next step in the journey for this gaming, pizza-loving, full-time working 20-something: Exercise. Wish me luck.

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