• Written By: Katrina Agger and Emerald Casto

Our Declassified Back-to-School Survival Guide

The fall semester is approaching quickly:

So, here are some ways to keep both you and your diet in good overall shape as those first classes hit!

Brain Food Hacks on the Run

"You are what you eat." Okay, so we aren’t literally that Venti Iced Frappuccino or the chocolate doughnut with sprinkles, but the saying does have some validity! As students, we are often grabbing what is closest to us and eating it on the run. That’s why it is so important we make sure to incorporate some brain-fueling food into our visits to the grocery store or local cafe.

Who knew college kids could eat healthy while taking a 15 credit course-load and staying involved in extra-curricular activities?! Well, luckily for us, it is possible!

Below, we have included some easy, healthy, brain-powering snack ideas for you to stock your fridge up with before the first week of classes.[1] As an added bonus, most of these items can be found on campus, too; just visit your nearest Outtakes or the Osprey Cafe!

  1. Protein Pack: Hard boiled egg, grapes, almonds, cheese cubes and whole grain crackers

  2. Yogurt + Granola Bar + Banana

  3. Avocado spread on whole grain toast + dry roasted almonds

  4. Veggies and hummus + cheese on whole grain crackers

  5. Apples, peanut butter + whole grain toast

  6. Protein or Antioxidant Jamba Juice Smoothie

Stay Organized like a Boss this Fall

Ever get that feeling by the third week of classes that all of the due dates are quickly approaching and you simply can’t get ahead? Assignments pile up, and before you know it, you are up all night cramming right before an exam. I think every one of us has been there at one point or another! However, getting ahead is possible, and we wanted to share a few techniques that have been shown to show success.

  1. Use a planner: Make a conscious effort to put all of your events, assignments, exams, volunteer commitments, and leadership activities on the same calendar. Seeing the entire month will all of these on the same list will help you to stay organized and not double-book yourself.

  2. Show up early: Allow yourself the allotted amount of time it takes to get from class to class. If you are commuting, especially during rush hour, give yourself an extra 20 minutes on your original travel time to ensure you are make it should there be traffic.

  3. Follow up after class and condense your notes: Its recommended that students revisit their notes within 24 hours of a class. It is during this time that a student condenses and finishes original thoughts or watches voice-over lectures and videos on difficult topics.

  4. Study in a clean work-space: Studies show that students who learn in organized, tidy environments do better on exams and often have higher test scores.

  5. Study on campus and sometimes in groups: Many students prefer to study when on campus since they are already in the “learning” zone. Working with fellow students and bouncing ideas off of peers can be very helpful for staying ahead on the learning curve.

  6. Make flashcards before tests: Using flashcards allows students to commit the class material to memory, which is our only accessible resource during an exam.

  7. Set alarms and practice time management: Where would we be without our cell phone alarm? The alarm is our best tool to get us out of bed and to class on time. You can also use your phone alarm to practice time management strategies: set an alarm for one hour and see how much material you can review before the alarm goes off.

  8. Go to class: This seems self explanatory, but the easiest way to stay ahead is to go to class every day. When skipping classes, it’s easy to fall behind, overlook new assignments, and miss out on participation points.(2)

Meal Memberships

So, you’ve put everything in place for a super-organized fall semester. You may be thinking to

yourself, “studying, flashcards, going to class-- when the heck am I going to have time to eat!?”

Luckily for you, meal memberships on campus make it oh-so-easy to eat some quick and tasty food between classes!

UNF provides a variety of meal membership plans catered to individual needs. There are residential memberships for students living on campus that give you access to weekly meal swipes and dining dollars that can be used at any dining location on campus throughout the semester. Block memberships are also available for students who commute to campus. These plans have no weekly meal reset, so you are free to use your allotted meal swipes whenever you like.

All purchases made with your dining dollars on either membership are tax-free, so you’re actually saving more money in the long-run! All you need to do is swipe your Osprey1Card to pave the way towards fresh food and savvy savings! And did I mention that meal swipes and dining dollars can be used ANYWHERE on campus? That’s right! Starbucks, Chik-fil-A, Outtakes, Pita Pit, Jamba Juice... the list goes on!

The Osprey Cafe is another meal swipe-friendly place to fuel up. The Cafe has a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu that changes daily, as well as a salad bar, a hamburger grill with all the fixings, and made to order pizzas! There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as reusable “eco-tainers” to take with you to study sessions at the library.

Find out more about UNF’s Meal Memberships here.

Fun Events at the Osprey Cafe

In addition to serving up great food, the Osprey Cafe hosts themed events throughout the semester. Here are a just a couple themes from past semesters to give you an idea of how they roll:

  • A Thanksgiving lunch with a family-style holiday table

  • A build-your-own vegan sushi bar

  • No-tricks, all-treats Halloween Extravaganza dinner with fun desserts and games

  • Harry Potter-themed dinner and Sorting Hat event

Never miss an event by following UNF Dining Services on Facebook!

You're Ready

With your backpack on and a cup of coffee in hand, you’re now ready to tackle fall semester with a healthy body and refreshed mind! Here’s your last-minute back-to-school checklist for success:

  • Weekly planner

  • School supplies and tech

  • Parking permit

  • A meal membership

  • Lunch box with plenty of snacks

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Confidence!

See you in the fall, Ospreys!


(1) https://www.picmonic.com/pages/10-med-school-food-hacks-fueling-brain/

(2) https://www.ultimatemedical.edu/blog/8-study-tips-may-help-stay-ahead-school/

#backtoschool #UNF #campuslife #college #mealprep #mealplan #busystudent #campusdining

For more information about meal plans or hours of operation, please visit dineoncampus.com/unf