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Brittany Dawson, the CampusRiot Campus Representative for the University of South Carolina, is a junior studying English at the University of South Carolina.

Happy summer ya’ll!

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Nothing screams summer like a cookout, pool party, or spontaneous road trip with friends. In fact, I created my “Summer 2014” playlist yesterday (One Direction made the list: guiltless). Come on, these are necessities (especially One Direction)! But let’s be honest, for many college students, summer is a perfect time to splurge and overindulge—primarily with food.

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I mean, who cares right? Unless you’re taking summer classes, commutes to class are nonexistent and you finally have the apartment to yourself. So what do you do? OVERINDULGE!

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Seems harmless, right? Wrong! Overindulgence is unhealthy and may cause problems in the future—I’m sure we’re all hoping to fit into our favorite pair of jeans next year! If you’re hoping to return to school healthier rather than 20+ pounds heavier, (**CONFESSION** It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. Remember the “Freshman 15”? Pssht, lies!!! I gained an astounding 20 pounds my freshman year thanks to an unlimited meal plan, pizza buffets and a poor sleeping schedule: life is hard) check out these 3 tips for maintaining weight over the break!

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1. Grace periods are a MUST.

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If you know you’ll be out of town the first few weeks of summer, perhaps implementing a new diet or exercise routine may be unhelpful. Be realistic! Strive to follow a plan when you’re 100% committed and able to dedicate time to a healthier lifestyle.

2. Set realistic short and long term goals.

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Please, don’t try to lose 10 pounds a week. It’s unhealthy and dangerous! Instead, set realistic long and short term goals to stay motivated. For instance, an example long/short term goal may be to exercise 3 to 5 times a week (short term) with hopes of losing a few pounds a month (long term). You see? Being realistic goes a long way!

3. Seek motivation.

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Whether you’re striving to maintain or lose weight, push yourself to succeed with inspirational advice from a friend, fitness videos, or motivational quotes. Keep long and short term fitness goals in mind!

 How will you maintain weight over break?

feature image via thinkstock