Living in a sorority house is exciting, but it does present challenges to those interested in being consistent with a healthy lifestyle. Junk food is everywhere, and this is no exaggeration. The house comes with a house chef, providing you meals with extra calories. No wonder we fear the freshmen 15.

1. Junk food is everywhere


Photo by Mikinna Kerns

Sisters bring treats back from meetings to get rid of them, Insomnia leftovers for breakfast anyone? Have you ever noticed how cheese puffs only look good while reading biology? Parents often send care packages with homemade monster cookies, and Hershey’s kisses (because they miss you so much.) One person can’t eat all of this, so naturally it’s in the kitchen for everyone to share. Thank you Mrs. Johnson, but no thank you.

Try and refrain from indulging in the home baked goods. Not to mention the never-ending supply of bagels, cereal and candy in the pantry. It helps to not study in the kitchen. For obvious reasons this is a bad idea, let us try and learn from other’s past mistakes.

I have utilized the leftover fridge our house has provided to overcome these challenges. This is where people usually keep actual leftovers, but I’ve taken it over as my own storage space for about a week’s worth of food.

On the weekends, I stock up on as many healthy snack foods as I can. I recommend Sam’s or Costco for produce. This allows me to save money (utilizing bulk prices), while ensuring I have enough veggies to get me through the week. Sam’s and Costco also have restaurant-quality produce, so it is held to higher standards than your local grocery store. This is important because it needs to last for more than a week if possible. 

I make individual packages of mixed veggies and fruit. If I snag a spot in the fridge early enough, I’m able to keep a full drawer to myself. I love you sisters, but sometimes food comes first.

2. The House Chef’s Home-Style Meals.


Photo by Amber Bachman

We have a private house chef who makes the most amazing meals. One of her most beloved meals is her oven roasted Hawaiian sandwiches. She is happy to make any requests, because her goal is to make us delicious food we get excited about. Unfortunately, extra calories due to carbs, sugar and butter come along with it.

While still being respectful to the chef, I like to request healthy food when I can. To be prepared in the case of a hefty meal of chicken and waffles (which are delicious), I ensure to have backup supply of healthy options prepared in the leftover fridge. My go-to is frozen soup from my mom. During Winter and Spring break, I advise you stock up on everything you can. You can thank Mom and Dad in advance for their the sudden decrease in food supply.

3. The gym is not as close as it used to be


Photo by Mikinna Kerns

The dorm life offered me a gym less than 50 feet away from me. This was an unappreciated blessing for freshman year. Okay. Yes, I’m sorry I couldn’t appreciate everything Iowa State offers.

In the warm months, I scout for a gym buddy. Whether it’s AM or PM workouts, pick one that works for the both of you. This can help accountability, and the hilarity of being insanely sweaty and gross is great for bonding.

During the Winter, I’ve learned to love workout videos. YouTube provides so many options. Some of my favorites to follow are Cassey Ho Pop Pilates and Yoga with Adriene. At-home workouts allow for less excuses, and I love guilting friends into joining. I clear a spot in the multipurpose room and in 30 minutes we are finished. Take that, gym rats.

4. The constant offers for fast food


Photo by Mikinna Kerns

Eating is a social activity. It’s fun to go out to eat together, but with such crazy schedules, people are eating at every hour. There are always offers to grab some late-night food at the nearest McDonald’s or Taco Bell. And yes, it’s extremely tempting because avoiding studying or prior commitments is one of my favorite activities.

This is where the willpower kicks in. It’s difficult, but practice turning the offers down. One way I avoid the offers altogether is to let my sisters know I’m working hard to avoid those late night cravings. 

If you’re feeling confident in your willpower, go ahead and take the offer for a study break. Just remember to make healthy choices. For spontaneous outings like these, I keep one Togo-zero cal dressing in my purse 24/7 (I recommend Walden Farms dressing and sauces). This may sound extreme, but hey, saving 200 calories at midnight can make or break those 15 lbs. that every college student stresses about.

5. Sleep is hard to get


Photo by Mikinna Kerns

Friends aside, it’s important to get enough sleep. It can be hard to pull myself away from conversations I walk into with my sisters. It’s fun to hear about everyone’s current state of the union, but my I need my beauty sleep. 

I also try to avoid eating too close to bedtime. This can cause heartburn and make falling asleep uncomfortable if fatty foods were eaten. This of course can happen from time to time. If I need a snack before bed, I stick with something light like a granola bar, or fruit slices.

If I’m not planning on pulling an all-nighter, it’s also important for me to watch my caffeine intake at least five hours before I plan to hit the hay. The Starbucks nightcap will have to be put on hold ’til the AM.

To help ensure I get seven hours of sleep a night, I dedicate the last hour before bedtime to my personal hour. I close the door to my room, turn on a quiet playlist, and sip hot chamomile tea while reading. Sorry sisters, but your company will have to wait till I’m properly rested for your next social update.

Take a second to think do you really need those homemade cookies? Now is your time to practice self-control.