7 Bad Health Habits Commonly Developed in College
College is often a time to experiment with indulgence of various kinds. Unfortunately, some of those indulgences never seem to fade away as we enter the real world. Here are seven poor health habits we often develop in college, and have trouble un-developing once we graduate. If you catch them early, maybe you won’t become a victim of these lifelong issues!
Alcohol in Excess
Most of us laugh at this classification: Binge drinking is consuming five drinks in a row for men and four drinks in a row for women. You’ll never get through a drinking game without “binging,” and I get that. However, it’s important to keep your binge drinking in check.
According to the CDC, 70% of binge drinking involves adults age 26 and over, and you know they started in college (or high school). Try to greatly reduce your drinking after freshman year. The less you drink, the less you have to drink to get a buzz, and the better your clothes will fit. And whatever you do, make sure you’re practicing safe drinking habits.
That first cigarette is normally the only one that smokers truly regret. A large percentage of smokers start in college, often in the middle of a night of binge drinking. Unfortunately, the cigarette habit is a much harder one to kick when you’re beyond the college years. When your chimney friends offer you a smoke to keep them company outside the party, do yourself a favor and say no!
This is a bad habit with only one solution: eat something for breakfast. Those who skip breakfast are more likely to develop chronic diseases, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and obesity. Skipping breakfast in college can cause poor attention in your classes, afternoon binge eating, and an unhealthy reliance on caffeine.
Train your body to drink a liter of water in the morning and eat a little something for breakfast — peanut butter toast or a banana — for a healthier brain.
Believe it or not, there are actually long-term harmful health effects of procrastination, namely increased stress. Planning and preparation are a happy person’s best friends, but procrastination in college and later in life can cause lots of problems.
From forgetting to buy a birthday present for a friend, to missing the deadline to pay a bill/turn in an application/buy tickets, the increased stress of lifelong procrastination can wreak havoc on your health. Battle the procrastinator now while you still have a chance!
Unprotected Casual Sex
This is a big one, and it is a common problem on college campuses. Unfortunately, many people don’t grow out of it — especially when using other forms of birth control. There’s more to be afraid of than a baby from a one-night stand. STDs are real and serious, and can happen to the best of us. Your partner might not know he or she has one and can easily transmit it to you. Many of them are curable, but some are not.
Be careful and protect yourself before it is too late.
Yes, it’s great to have a newsfeed, it’s important to stay up to date on current events, and it is nice of us to check in with friends and family throughout the day.
However, college students develop a terrible habit of interacting more via technology than in person, and this can cause major issues later in life, especially when you hit the job market or start raising kids. Buy a watch, and leave your smart phone at home every once in a while.
Music is great. It’s been loved for centuries, and for many, it’s a way of life. However, it’s a good idea to take a long break from those headphones you shove into your ears at full blast.
I know you’ve got things you want to block out, like your roommate, or your parents, but according to this study, the prevalence of hearing loss in youths is on the rise, and once your headphones kill those auditory hair cells, you can’t grow more. That youthful hearing is gone forever. Opt for some noise-canceling headphones or regular speakers instead. Your 30-year-old ears will thank you.
Related: 5 Tips for Better Eating Habits