Staying Healthy in University Housing

As the temperatures drop and finals season approaches, remember to stay on top of your health and prioritize your wellness. Here at University Housing, residents’ health and well-being is an important priority. After living in University Housing and now working here, here are my tips for staying healthy while living in University of Illinois residence halls:

Balanced Diet  
Your diet is a key part of your health, and we have countless food options every day. You can check daily menus on the Illinois app and plan your meals ahead of time! There are so many foods to choose from within each dining hall, so try to make your plate as balanced as possible. I loved to try new foods and switch up my meals in the dining hall, but I did my best to have at least one protein and a vegetable in every meal. For a plant-based, vegan/vegetarian meal, try Field of Greens in LAR! I loved the avocado toast. Eating healthy keeps your body healthy, but I treat myself with a dessert (or two) or an extra carb sometimes! There are so many healthy and fun choices in the dining halls, so make sure to try them.

A student in a University Housing dining hall checks out his food options.

Get Enough Sleep  
College students have a stereotype of staying up all night doing homework and cramming for exams, but who actually wants to do that? Getting adequate sleep is important to prevent illness and to keep your mind and body going throughout the day. Get a few extra hours of sleep by not procrastinating on your homework. University Housing has great study spaces, both within residence halls and in communal areas like SDRP (the Student Dining and Residential Programs building). I lived in Allen Hall, and I used the basement lounge there to do my homework quite often. Find places where you can stay motivated and get your work done in the least amount of time possible! Residence halls also have a “quiet hours” policy from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays (Sunday through Thursday), midnight to 10 a.m. on weekends (Friday and Saturday) and a 24-hour quiet policy for finals season, so you shouldn’t have any disturbances.

Exercise is a fantastic way to keep your body and brain functioning, and it is also great for a mood boost. All University Housing locations are conveniently located near the two main campus recreational facilities. Urbana residence halls are closer to CRCE, and Champaign-side or Ikenberry Commons residence halls are closer to the ARC. If you prefer one over the other, they are easily accessible by bus if your hall is a little further away. The "22 Illini" bus route will take you to both! Also, ISR is equipped with its own fitness center, and most halls have their own fitness area. Gyms can be scary sometimes, especially if you are new, but you can always bring a friend with you! These university amenities are top of the line facilities. Find a workout buddy and try them!

A group of students study in a common space, with one student yawning and stretching.

McKinley Health Center  
McKinley Health Center is an excellent resource for students. Conveniently, many University Housing locations are within a short walking distance of McKinley, and others have easy access to a bus that will take you right there! This is that time of year when more people start to get sick. If you do happen to catch something, McKinley offers multiple medical services, a pharmacy and helpful health information. I recommend checking out their website

Mental Health Services  
At Illinois, mental health is just as important as physical health. The Counseling Center is an excellent resource that offers many different mental health services from licensed professionals. There are counselors who provide services specifically to students in certain areas of study – and to University Housing! Residents can visit the embedded counselors page and make an appointment with a counselor specifically dedicated to University Housing. Appointments can also be scheduled on the Counseling Center website or over the phone, and all costs are covered! It is okay to ask for help during stressful times, and the Counseling Center is a great place to refresh your mind and take care of yourself.