Getting admitted into college is super exciting and overwhelming at the same time. You are jumping into a new beginning of possibilities and an unknown world. Whether it is the stress of waking up early for lectures, making new friends or applying for student loans, starting college can be pretty tough. Keeping up with a vegan lifestyle in college can seem nearly impossible. This is the time of your life that you are focused on building a career for yourself and having no time to eat real food.
I became vegan in my final year in college, 2018. It was not an easy ride as I had to juggle between my projects, attending lectures, my job as an intern, and the confusion on what to eat every day. If there is one thing you should not worry about is surviving college as a vegan.
I will be sharing four tips for surviving college as a vegan, from how to manage your budget and plan your meals, to eating out and finding a vegan support group on campus.
Budget and plan your meals
As a college student on a tight budget, it is mandatory to understand what is important when shopping. Find the nearest market and get the most out of it. Buy only what you need and can consume within a week. Plan and live within your budget. Planning your meals ahead of time can save you a lot of time and money, then you can keep this in line with a weekly budget. Food is fuel, so remember to eat a balanced diet while you study. Daily calorie intake is based on healthy whole foods, including whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and tubers. Always eat vegan snacks to avoid hunger.
Understand the Importance of nutrition
Vegans may already know about the essential nutrients they need in their diet. You need to make sure you are getting all the right nutrients whilst on a budget. Being more aware of your food choices gives you almost everything you need to keep your immune system working and helps your body recover daily while studying at night. It is about understanding that your body needs to get the right amount of vitamins, fats, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients every day to function properly. Just because vegans love eating vegetables a lot, that does not mean that is all you can eat. Try different varieties of vegan foods to stay healthy.
Find a vegan support group
Most colleges have vegan societies that can support and meet your needs: health, cultural values, animal welfare, ethics or the environment. You can make friends and find out what is going on, on-campus by connecting with colleagues who share the same passion and interest as you. Joining a vegan club can dramatically improve your cooking skills, eating habits, and vegan awareness.
Find local restaurants and health food stores.
You can use Google or the Happy Cow app at any time to browse local restaurants and health food stores on campus. In small health food stores, you can often find discounts on edible fruits and vegetables. Always shop in the local area and expand your knowledge on vegan food choices.