An open letter about the Freshman 15

Dear Freshmen,

There have been many famous myths like the Loch Ness Monster and the Chupacabra, but there may be one myth that is even more infamous; the freshman 15. Ever since I started the process of searching for colleges to attend, I’ve been told numerous times by family members to be careful of the freshman 15. At that time, I had never even heard of it. But, once I started freshman year it was heavily discussed amongst my peers. To the new freshmen reading this: you may be sitting there staring at your Flight Deck fries wondering if you are contributing to this myth, but don’t worry because you are definitely not.

Most people worry about their weight to some extent. So, the stress that surrounds the topic of freshman 15 is completely valid. I think many people need to realize that there isn’t much scientific evidence that supports this theory. According to Huffington Post, the phrase freshman 15 has been used since 1989 when Seventeen magazine first coined the phrase. Since then, the people of the United States ran with the expression and it has been around since. There are reasons why Americans passed down this expression all these years. There are certainly chances of you gaining weight in college, but it isn’t because you are a freshman. There are many reasons why someone could gain weight in college, but there are also many chances of why people lose weight in college. For one, weight fluctuations are normal in college because most people are coming in at 18 and their bodies are in the transition of becoming an adult. So, some people may gain weight, or some people may lose weight. Second, in college you gain a lot more control over your own diet. With this new-found freedom, some people may not choose the healthiest choices. Being a college student comes with a busy schedule and this can be a large influence on your eating habits. So just remember, you’re not going to gain weight just because you are a freshman. It is because there are many factors that are happening once you start college. 

For the freshmen that are still worried, here are some helpful tips. Try your best to choose healthier options, and there is strong emphasis on the word healthier. Don’t pick food that you don’t like just because it is healthy. Eat something that you enjoy, but it just so happens to be that it is healthier. Every morning try your best to eat something for breakfast even if it is as simple as a small bowl of cereal.  For the pumpkin spice latte fanatics out there, try to switch out the condensed milk for something healthier like almond milk. During midterms and finals week, we are all going to have an all-nighter at least once. So, during those times, try to go towards high protein foods, which will give more energy to power through the night. Also, don’t go overboard with the coffee, don’t be afraid to swap that with a tea. Another important part of a healthy lifestyle is to be active. Try to fit the gym in your schedule and take advantages of the fitness classes that are offered through RecWell. The most important tip is to try your best to get as much sleep as you possibly can.

Finally, don’t worry too much about your weight. Just try your best to enjoy college and do well on your academics.

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