Making the switch back to living on campus after the winter break is not just difficult for students, it is hard on their stomachs.
Mom, I mean, J Street is what’s for dinner!
Changing from a kitchen at home open around the clock to J Street that only serves food on fixed hours is causing problems for some students.
Sophomore Liane Serinsky said she is having trouble adjusting.
“At home I would usually eat dinner much later than most families. Here at school I feel restricted to eating between six and 7:30 at night, so I end up eating when I am not hungry,” Serinsky said.
Junior Jason Berkowitz thinks the fixed schedule is causing poor eating habits for students.
“I don’t eat very healthily here at school because of what is offered at J Street,” he said. “My New Year’s resolution was to only eat one dinner instead of two. I get hungry later in the evening because we eat so early here.”
Students also have to adjust to a change in what they eat. J Street is a cafeteria style-dining hall, unlike what students are accustomed to at home. While at home, whether students or family members cook a meal, students said there is greater flexibility in what they can eat. This allows them to eat more nutritiously than at school.
“I eat so much better when I am at home,” freshman Caroline Mandler said. “At home I make my own food, but when I get back to school, I am forced to eat whatever is offered here, which isn’t always the best for you. As a freshmen I don’t have a kitchen, so that makes it even harder.”
Sophomore Anna Guare also said she eats differently at GW.
“At home I have a fruit at least twice a day and eat a vegetable with lunch and dinner,” Guare said. “Last semester I remember catching myself telling someone that I couldn’t remember when the last time I ate a vegetable was. I wish it wasn’t like that, but it’s really hard to eat well in college.”
According to Teen Health magazine, eating away from home does not mean eating unhealthily. The article “Eating Well While Eating Out” suggests eating sandwiches with lean meats, such as fish, turkey, chicken or tuna and ordering whole grain breads including bagels and pitas.
Teen Health recommends putting sauces on the side of a meal and using them sparingly, eating half portions and taking the rest home. Another suggestion is to use non-fat milk instead of whole milk. According to the article these small, things will help students follow proper nutrition.
J Street is not to blame for everyone’s self-proclaimed poor nutrition. Several students said boredom, insomnia, television and even too much schoolwork cause them to eat poorly.
“Unfortunately, I know the 3 a.m. snack habit really well. My eating habits are pretty bad at school because I get bored sometimes in my room, so I start snacking,” freshman Kimberly Brownstein said.
While some students claim that they eat more healthily at home, others say that they are more careful about what they eat after returning to school.
“I have been eating more salads since I got back,” sophomore Liza Sussman said. “My friend and I both decided to make a conscious decision to eat better. If both of us watch what we eat, I am more likely to actually try to eat well than if I had to do it alone.”
Many students are also trying to improve their health by exercising. Students said the cold weather at home kept them inside and unable to exercise. Now back at school, students have access to the Health and Wellness Center and can return to working out.
Student employees Jen Eickhoff and Larry Busse said that the Health and Wellness Center is currently twice as crowded than it usually is.
“All New Year’s resolutions I bet,” Eickoff said. “This is typical. The gym will be crowded for the first two to three weeks of the semester and then slowly people will stop showing up.”