As the semester starts to wrap up, students are still trying to find ways to eat well and care for their overall well-being. While students keep pace with college deadlines, healthy habits can sometimes take a backseat. 

Eating well provides people with better academic performance while also helping to prevent diseases, according to the University of Saskatchewan’s Student Wellness Centre.

Min Chen is adamant about scheduling her meals. “Since my son is with me, I have to prepare to make sure we have three meals a day,” said Chen. 

Chen’s family motivates her to eat good food and she tries to reserve enough time to make homemade lunches. “I get my husband to help prepare everything, and then I just need to cook it,” said Chen.

She often makes stir fry with beef and green onions the day before and defrosts her leftovers the next day. 

“My husband does a very good job at helping me,” said Carissa Coleman. “He makes me smoothies every morning with fruits and nuts.” 

Coleman generally aims to eat healthy throughout the whole semester, although she sometimes finds it difficult to eat lunch when her schedule grows busier. 

Min Chen, Wei Shen, Shuoyuan Ren and Xiaofan Wang finish their lunches in the cafeteria on Mar. 27, 2024. (Danielle Salchert) 

Classes can dictate eating schedules and Xiaofan Wang said, “I have no choice but to eat whenever I can.” She eats two bigger meals during days with online classes.

Stress can become a big component of college. While coffee and energy drinks offer students temporary alertness, the University of Saskatchewan’s Student Wellness Centre said students should consider swapping caffeinated beverages with water. On average, drinking more than three cups of coffee a day can create anxiety and cause higher blood pressure.  

Eating well is a promising start while juggling health in college. 

Zuly Sampayo is an international student and likes to team up with others to exercise.

“My friends and I prefer to walk,” said Sampayo. “I walk a lot.”

“I always sleep in on the weekends,” said Coleman.

According to Harvard Medical School, a common misconception is that it’s possible to catch up on sleep during days off. A day to sleep in does not make up for the hours of missed rest during other nights. 

Sleep debt happens when people get less sleep than their body needs to replenish itself. Students who get around eight hours of sleep can benefit from energy boosts and consistent insulin levels. 

Students who have questions about nutrition can reach out to Misericordia Health Centre professionals with the free Dial-a-Dietician helpline at (204) 788-8248.