The Fittest College Campus In America Is…

Every day, especially at the beginning of the school year, I hear people complain about walking around my UCLA college campus. “This campus has so many hills, I don’t even have to work out,” they say as they pant while they walk. It’s true, college campuses are notorious for the sweat it takes to get to lecture. That coupled with UCLA first years obsessed with our organic dining halls and giant gyms, I assumed we were one of the fittest campuses in the nation.

The Active Times publishes a yearly list of the fifty fittest college campuses in the America. Taking data from Princeton Review and US News, Active Times gathered the universities with the best, top-notch gym facilities, sports programs (as in, who offers essential after school classes in yoga, salsa dancing, spinning, etc), and the healthiest dining halls. They look at the students’ general quality of life and their happiness levels, information they gather from Niche Colleges (formerly known as College Prowler). They assign points to schools based off the answers to these questions and more, in order to discover the fittest colleges in the nation.

You’d think the fit culture of Los Angeles plus the necessity of wearing shorts seven months out of the year would lead to California schools snagging the top spots on theActive Times list. But instead, Virginia Tech raked in the win. According to data gathered by Niche and released by Business Insider, they also have the second best food in the nation: All their food is organic and sustainably grown, just like using your meal swipes at an on-campus (even better) Whole Foods. The majority of their students participate in varsity or recreational sports (yum, athletes), and they’re number one ranked for the happiest students in the nation on Niche. There you have it: Being in shape really does make you happier.

The happiest schools, according to Princeton Review, were generally in line with the fittest ones. Claremont McKenna, University of Dayton, and Rice University were all in the top ten on both lists. However, only one of Niche’s Top 10 Hardest To Get Into Schools was also top ten for happiest students: Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Maybe this means that getting rejected from those ‘reach’ schools was actually a blessing in disguise.

The biggest party school in the country went to Tulane University in New Orleans, also according to Niche. All those ‘Wine Wednesdays’ and ‘Thirsty Thursdays’ blocked Tulane from breaking Active Time’s Top 50 fittest campuses list, but they did get number 10 on the Princeton Review’s happiest students list. Maybe they’re just too stoned to be sad.

So what have we learned? Fitness and good food lead to happiness, partying only gets you so far, and if you got rejected from Harvard, at least you’re happier than the bastards who got in.

How does your school match up? Let us know in the comments!

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