Just as many times as we've been told to love ourselves the way we are, we've been told to change ourselves to fit the mold. Despite significant achievements in the body positivity movement, college campuses are still breeding grounds for body shaming and insecurity. And while it's definitely a challenge to combat these overwhelming influences, staying body positive on campus is an achievable goal. Here are some strategies to try when you're feeling less than your best. 

1. Devote time to being active. 

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Instead of stressing over blocking out a specific time to workout, set aside just 15 minutes a day, whenever they might be, to put those muscles to work (it's 15 minutes you'd probably otherwise use to scroll through your phone). It could be 15 minutes of gym time, a 15-minute walk with friends, or doing a few crunches while binge watching Netflix. A "workout" can be anything that gets your body moving. And honestly, who doesn't need a break from the library? 

2. Focus on balance.  

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"Cookies = bad, salad = good." No need to bring math where it doesn't belong. Cookies are cookies and salad is salad. Resist the temptation to label your foods as "good" and "bad." That doesn't mean chowing down on a cheeseburger, shoestring fries, and slurping a creamy chocolate milkshake for every meal, but doing this once is all a part of that awesome ~balance~ you hear nutritionists talk about on TV. 

3. You’re NOT conceited for being confident with your appearance.

While photo-shooting with the squad, you probably hear more of, "Ugh, I look horrible in that," than, "Wow, I love the way that came out." But listen up ladies, confidence does not equal cockiness. Paying attention to what you love about your body, rather than what other people love about theirs, is the key to body positivity in college. 

4. Consistently eat three meals each day and plan out your snacks. 

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It's 5:30pm, and you've only eaten a granola bar, a handful of chips, and a bowl or two of cereal since crawling out of bed. Oops. It's too easy to forgot to eat while cramming for an exam, or to skip out on a meal when running late to class. Try and space out your eating and aim to have at least three meals a day. You'll likely feel stuffed if you cram all of your food for the day into a single meal. As for snacks, pack yourself things to munch on throughout the day for those times when the dining hall hours just don't line up with your busy schedule. 

5. Eat mindfully, without distractions.

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Mindfulness encompasses more than sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat with your eyes shut. Eating mindfully means slowing it down, not eating while watching re-runs on Netflix, and putting that fork down every once in a while. If your focus is on the food rather than texting or watching TV, you'll be more responsive to your body when it tells you you're full or in desperate need of a second helping. 

6. Distance yourself from those who put you or others down.

"Yeah, I saw her the other day and she's gained so much weight since last fall." This is a major red flag friend. Don't surround yourself with someone on a mission to bring others down. Negative body-talk is like the freshman plague. And, unfortunately, it just takes one judgmental person to get everyone thinking and talking about their bodies in a negative way. 

College isn't about just one thing. There's so much going on, from studying to stressing to meeting new people, it's bound to feel overwhelming at times. Staying body positive in college is one way to find a bit of calm through the noise. And it's not just limited to these tips. Body positivity is something we should all strive for in whatever way works best for us.