Dear T2T: I’m 18, and I just got to my new college. While I’m excited to start classes at a college a few hours from home — I’ll be staying in a dorm room — I am also starting to worry about possibly slipping back into my old habits of an eating disorder.
I used to have horrible nutrition because of restriction and understating, counting every calorie and exercising all the time. During the summer, away from school, I’ve been eating way better and not feeling pressure from school — I’ve gained enough weight to have an 18.5 BMI which is considered healthy. But I worry I could easily slip back into skipping meals when I get stressed out in college.
I don’t really have anyone to talk to about this and any advice would really help. — Nervous Nelly
Dear Nervous Nelly: Congratulations on starting college. College isn’t any easier than high school, so stress is understandable. But don’t let the stress keep you from eating.
If stress is the only thing keeping you from eating and pushing you to exercise too much, then maybe you could do things like hanging out with friends or finding a new hobby to relieve stress. College classes are challenging, so you should probably take fewer classes so you have to focus on the ones you attend.
Make some new friends, talk to family during your free time, and don’t overthink your classes. An important thing to focus on in college is time management, which will help you stay on track and not fall behind, causing you to stress out more.
Remember to have snacks while you study, do homework and between classes. It is simple to just take a few granola bars, or some crackers to eat really quick. This helps out with you not starving yourself and you are getting the nutrition you need.
If this doesn’t work out for you, then you can maybe see a nutritionist or visit your college counseling center to inform about your situation. But I hope we were able to help you out. We wish the best for your health and your school work. Good luck! — Sincerely, T2T