When you're a freshman in college, you're most likely going to be living away from home for the first time. And that means, you're also going to be away from your family's home-cooked meals. Luckily, you're also going to be surrounded by food at every corner of campus and on every block in your college town. But while you tell yourself to make healthy choices, you soon realize that doing so takes more time and effort than you originally thought. That being said, here are 11 things that I wish I knew about eating healthy during my freshman year of college. 

1. Always choose water over soda.

dropping ice, water splash, water cup, cup of water, splash, water, ice
Jocelyn Hsu

While most sodas have caffeine and sugar to wake you up when you're in a rush to class, drinking soda has zero health benefits. If you need the caffeine, have a coffee or a tea. But otherwise, water is almost always cheaper than soda and it can give you energy, help keep your skin clear, and give your digestive system a boost, amongst other benefits. If you still want the carbonation, try a sparkling water, or if you want more flavor, try a detox water. 

2. You might feel the need to load up on coffee and Red Bull 24/7, but you're better off without it.

mocha, milk, espresso, cappuccino, coffee
Amy Cho

Although both drinks do have generous amounts of caffeine in them, drinking too much caffeine can result in migraines, insomnia, nervousness, upset stomach and even muscle tremors. Also, it'll end up making you feel more cranky and less likely to get things done — take that from someone with personal experience. 

3. While Chipotle may be cheap and convenient, don't make it your main food group.

Chipotle, burrito bowl, Chipotle Burrito Bowl
Jocelyn Hsu

Freshman year, my mentality was that since Chipotle was $9 for a burrito that had several colors of the rainbow in it, that it was healthy for me. That was before the whole E. coli thing, of course. But even so, I started to feel sluggish from literally eating it 5-7 days a week, once or twice a day (it can put you in a serious food coma). 

Also, the levels of sodium are extremely high, and can cause you to feel bloated and thirsty. and A burrito made with white rice, black beans, chicken, fajita veggies, roasted chili-corn salsa, sour cream, cheese and lettuce and guac (because, duh) has around 3070 mg of sodium. For reference, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day (max) for adults. So, it's definitely not something you want to eat every single day. 

4. Eat breakfast every day, no matter where or when you have to eat it.

Healthy, Health, brunch, bread, sandwich, breakfast sandwich, breakfast, toast, avocado toast, cafe, egg, avocado
Denise Uy

Although I'm guilty of rolling out of bed 35 minutes before my class, rushing to get ready, and putting off breakfast, I regret not fueling my body with food before class. On the days that I rushed to class, I was hungry and found it hard to pay attention to what I was supposed to be learning, and as a result, I was getting anything out of the education that my parents were paying thousands of dollars for. 

Sometimes, what I'd do is take a "bathroom break" during my first class (which usually started around 10/10:30 in the morning) to grab a snack, and I would eat it in class so that I was learning while also fueling my body. Had I eaten breakfast beforehand, however, I wouldn't have missed anything important in class.

5. Don't eat out every night.

China, Shanghai, streets, street, sidewalk, exteriors, exterior, Restaurant, cafe, coffee
Denise Uy

While it may be nice to eat out with your friends or family each night, not only will you probably be careless about what you're eating, but food that's not on your meal plan nor free on campus will cost real people money. College students typically don't have a lot of money, so don't make it a frequent habit. Budget your funds wisely, like for nights out with friends or a really good dinner (other than Chipotle). 

6. If you and your friends decide to go out for crepes at 2 am on a whim, don't say no.

sour cream, pancake, dairy product, cake, pastry, sweet, cream
Julia Macaulay

Really, don't deprive yourself of any late night food trips with friends. My friends and I loved crepes — there's nothing that a good crepe can't fix. Although crepes are known for being sweet, there are meat and vegetarian options, too. You'll be happy that you went and can justify eating healthier, cheaper meals at home for the rest of the week.

7. Load up on snacks at the beginning of each semester.

caramel, corn, sweet, popcorn
Sara Carte

One thing that I wish I did more often to eat healthy was have some sort of snacks in my dorm. Not only does this help save money and keep you from making impulsive snack purchases, but the snacks that you have in your dorm are probably healthier than those in the vending machines.

Go to Costco and buy in bulk (you can keep the extras under you bed). 

8. Choose salads over the hot buffet in the dining halls. 

salad, broccoli, pepper, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, carrot, vegetable
Christin Urso

Of course, this depends on what's getting served at the buffet. A plate of chicken with rice and veggies will fuel you up, but eating a plate of Chinese chicken with spring rolls combined with another plate of pizza and mac 'n cheese every night isn't going to make you feel so good. With a buffet, chances are your eyes are bigger than your stomach and you'll end up eating more than you actually need to.

A salad is pretty easy to portion on a plate, and with veggies and a protein (like chicken), it will fill you with enough fiber to keep you feeling full, longer. 

But yeah, don't feel like you always have to pass up the mac 'n cheese — it's all about balance, people. 

9. Don't calorie count throughout the day and then say, "I'm saving the remaining calories for alcohol."

wine in mason jar, mason jar, pouring wine, pour, white wine, jug, oil, beer
Jocelyn Hsu

Your body uses the food that you eat as energy throughout the course of the day. Alcohol is not the substitute; it's not going to give you any fuel at all. Actually, alcohol will probably slow you down and make you tired, thanks to its sedative effects.

Not providing your body with the energy that it needs through eating will not only leave you hangry, but drinking on an empty stomach might also leave you hungover

10. Don't deprive yourself of the foods that you really want.

cream, caramel, chocolate, ice cream, cake, banana, peanut butter, peanut
Jayna Goldstein

While sugary foods and drinks might not be the healthiest for your diet, self-deprivation will only lead to you wanting that piece of cake or that milkshake even more. Then, when you get your hands on either one, you're going to lose control and have several "What have I done?" moments, also known as binge eating. 

So, just eat the cake or the milkshake when you have the chance. Again, a healthy diet is all about balance. 

11. Stop eating when you're full.

cheese, ravioli
Audrey Mirabito

While you may be tempted to finish a huge plate of loaded tater tots or loaded nachos all in one sitting, save some of it. Usually, loaded dishes are capable of having two servings of food in them, and eating all of it at once will just give you a stomach ache. Any leftovers can be stored in your dorm mini fridge, so they don't have to go to waste. 

Freshman year is a time for exploring new interests (and maybe even new foods), but also take some time to take care of yourself. A healthy you is a happy you, and and that's what's really important.