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  • The Vindicator

Hard to be Healthy

Resources & restaurants for college students wanting wellness

Written by: Abigail Jarvis

No one denies that being a college student is hard. You have to go to class, complete school assignments, work a job, maintain scholarships, take care of your relationships, attempt to be a functioning adult — all while trying to stay healthy. Health looks different for every person and body type, but it is hard to be any kind of healthy as a college student. The sweet, sweet temptresses of ramen, frappes, late night Netflix binges and entire packs of Oreos call out to you constantly. Cravings like these come with the intense brainstorming of studying, and all of that studying means preparing a healthy meal or exercising is hard to fit in.


Cleveland State Dining Services works to provide healthy meal options in their open locations for CSU students. At Grille Works, there is a veggie burger available as a vegetarian alternative. At the nearby Greens2Go, a generous heaping of salad toppings and dressing await atop a bed full of greens. At the smaller on-the-go locations such as Viking Express and The Link, Vikings can fuel up with fruit cups, sandwiches, sushi and small packaged salads before their next class.


Finally, there is Viking Marketplace, the campus dining hall. Within this hall, the goal is to provide “fresh ingredients, quality products and superior customer service on the menu.” Viking Marketplace has vegetarian and vegan options, plus a salad bar. Cleveland State Dining Services make an effort to offer healthy options to students.


Near campus, a few other healthy options for students are within walking distance. First, the on-campus favorite: Café Ah-Roma. There, students can get wraps, sandwiches, salads or a quick coffee. Next, the newly opened Pulp Juice & Smoothie Bar has smoothies, wraps, salads and power juices. Further down Euclid Avenue is the ever popular Fruit Stand in Playhouse Square, which opened in the spring semester of last year. The Fruit Stand offers more juices, smoothies, fresh fruit and acai bowls. On East 14th Street, right off of Playhouse, is Phuel Cafe. They have a wide variety of salads, protein-packed entrees and sandwiches. Finally, there are made-daily packaged meal options within Heinen's grocery store, as well as plenty of fresh produce and proteins available there to purchase.


Once fueled up, there are plenty of ways to continue to be healthy on campus. The Cleveland State Recreation Center offers a wide variety of equipment, clubs, classes and wellness programs to students and members to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Here’s just a few examples of programs and how to get involved:

  • Group Fitness Classes — Group Fitness classes are free at the Rec with a membership, which are free to current CSU students. Classes range from Zumba to strength training, offered both in-person and on Zoom. While free, they do require a reservation. Make sure you arrive five minutes early to class!

More info on Group Fitness Classes


  • Adventure Rec — Step outside the campus recreation center and enjoy activities on trips outside of Cleveland to greater Northeast Ohio, neighboring cities and even out-of-state treks! Registration is required and easy to do online. Most of the equipment needed comes with registration, so don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.

More info on Adventure Rec

  • Club Sports — Check out all of the incredible club sports and dance teams CSU has to offer on VikesConnect. With clubs like sailing, soccer, belly dancing, tennis and ultimate frisbee, there is sure to be a club team right for you. If not, contact the Rec about starting your own club!

More info on Club Sports


  • Intramural Sports — A competitive tournament focused on camaraderie may be exactly what you are looking for. Join as a referee or as an active player. These tournament programs value sportsmanship, leadership and wellness.

More information on Intramural Sports


  • Shine Well — Mental health is just as important as physical health. Shine Well works to balance developmental, emotional, environmental, financial, physical, social and spiritual health. Shine Well provides educational resources in order to create lifelong wellness habits and resources that will help an individual create a more well-rounded, health-conscious lifestyle.

More info on Shine Well

Another resource that is valuable for overall health and wellness is the Cleveland State Counseling Center. The center offers group, individual and couples counseling, in addition to psychiatry and clinical case management. Confidential in-person or telehealth appointments are available through the center. The Counseling Center is here to “support and empower our diverse student community through the provision of psychological services.” Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek support; the center is available and ready to listen.


Health and wellness is a multifaceted beast, especially in college. With these resources and a mindful intent for self-care, hopefully that Hydra is a bit easier for all of our Vikings out there to fight through exams and heading into the darker winter season.




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