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Talking With Syracuse Freshman: Healthier at Home?

As freshmen in college, many of us do not pay much attention to our health; our priorities and concerns generally are with our schoolwork and social lives.  Needless to say, many of the habits we formed at school are different from what they were when we lived at home home because of the change in environment. Intrigued by this idea and how it relates to the health of students, I began to wonder if students are generally healthier at school or at home.
I chose three factors of health: nutrition, exercise and sleep and then asked 20 freshmen at Syracuse University three questions:

1. Do you find it easier to eat healthy at home or at school?
2. Do you find it easier to work out at home or at school?
3. Do you get more sleep at home or at school?

In response to question one, 65 percent of the students interviewed said that they find it easier to eat healthy at home.

Allison Kaufman, fashion design major
Allison KaufmanAllison claims that she finds it easier to eat at home because “I know how the food is being prepared, and it is easier to control portion sizes.”  This makes sense, because the dining halls at Syracuse University are buffet-style, so students can eat as much as they want.

Charles Cai, an engineering major
Charles CaiCharles says that it is easier for him to eat healthy at home because his parents buy healthier food.

Question two, however, revealed a different consensus. Sixty-five percent of the same students interviewed said that they find it easier to work out at school than at home. Out of the students who feel this way, about 85 percent of them say that this is because of how accessible the gym is. However, some students find it harder to work out at school because they are busier. Elliot Brannon, an undecided major in Newhouse, says that he finds it easier to work out at home because he has more time.

It is no secret that sleep is a rare commodity for college students. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that 75 percent of these students said that they get more sleep at home. The majority of the students interviewed claim that this is due to the fact that there are “fewer distractions” at home. For example, at college students are constantly surrounded by their friends and are busy with extra-curricular activities that sleep often gets put on the back burner. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With effective use of time management and by limiting distractions, students should be able to get more sleep at school.  Also, students should practice portion control when in the dining halls and remember that if there are no particularly healthy options that day, take advantage of the nutritious salad bar.  With all the stress students experience while at school, maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes even more important.

By Alexa Bickhart
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