No matter the school or the person, the Freshman 15 is something all incoming college students hear about. It is a tale as old as time. With newly gained independence, dining halls, snack machines, and refrigerators small enough to keep in a dorm stacked on top of stressful courses, running to catch the bus going to the other side of campus, the occasional party, late night study sessions, and homesickness, food becomes an escape for the baby cubs in The Quad.
Let's face the facts, teens and young adults LOVE food. The only problem is how much it loves us back... talk about a complicated relationship. This leaves first years exposed to the myth turned reality that is The Freshman 15.
The oh-so-reliable Wikipedia defines the Freshman 15 as, "an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to an amount (somewhat arbitrarily set at 15 pounds, and originally just 10) of weight gained during a student's first year at college." First years aren't used to the overload of delicious food at almost every corner and go over the healthy limit while showing their appreciation.
Many students, including myself, look at the condition head-on and prepare themselves, in order to not be taken hostage. Well... I recently had an epitome. Storytime? Here we go.
Where I live there are fast food restaurants minutes up the road. Growing up, these restaurants became post-game energy rebuilding zones, easy excuses for parents to not have their homes demolished by little ones (thank you fast food playgrounds), and eventually after-party refueling stations.
It was nice to have all of these options as a child for food, but, like anything, the same dodge from leftovers at the house gets boring after awhile. Let me tell you, YOUR GIRL WAS TIRED, but not all hope was lost. Word spread the summer before my senior year in high school of a Bojangles being built LESS THAN a minute away from my house.
I digress: Now, Bojangles wasn't that big of a deal to me at the time. I had only been to a few in South Carolina during road trips to Florida, growing up. I was and still am a picky eater (I like to think I've broadened my pallet, but I'm the only one who sees that...), so I never ate when my family took a pit stop at a Bojangles franchise. I was used to the Chick-Fil-A,
McDonald's (I loathe that place), Wendy's, Tropical Smoothie, etc that I saw on a regular basis.
One year, I hadn't eaten since we left Virginia, due to my stubborn ways of eating, and my father used his magic and lured me in with a Bo-Berry Biscuit. I am obsessed with blueberry muffins and made it my job to make sure my house always had a fresh batch at the ready. Those biscuits did me so dirty! I was in a Facebook official, serious relationship with Bo-Berry Biscuits, before I knew it.
After a few years of only eating their signature biscuits, I branched out and developed a liking for their chicken strips, fries, and regular biscuits, as well.
I knew this Bojangles was not going to be good for me. Of course, that didn't stop my excitement for its arrival. I had gone as far as planning ten extra minutes in the morning, so I could stop and get my blueberry dream before school started. Luckily, for my heart, construction was delayed and I was not able to live out my icing covered dream.
The store has been open for a little over a month, now, and I have a serious problem on my hands. I CAN'T STAY AWAY! Whether it's one, two, a half dozen or a dozen, I was getting my fix of Bo-Berry Biscuits daily. I will give myself props for starting to add actual food to my orders to avoid being the "biscuit girl in the drive-thru" that all the employees talked about. (That may only be in my head... better safe than sorry, though. Right?) I now order a meal and two Bo-Berry Biscuits at least every other day. *A moment of shame-filled silence*
I don't even consider the other fast food restaurants around the corner. I. Don't. Even. Consider. Chick-fil-A. Do you see where I'm coming from? This is a mess!
I'm not supposed to go through food addiction issues until at least my second week in college. Yet, here I am, an upcoming freshman turning into a blueberry filled biscuit with icing on top, in front of my own eyes. I'm going to show up on move-in day with one heck of a jump start on my fellow classmates of '22. You can't tell but I'm internally crying.
Is this the part where I state my name and age to a room full of people and then sit there awkwardly as they all say Hi back to me in a monotone chord? You know what they say, admittance is the first step to recovery. I need to go admit myself to my local gym before I severely damage an organ.
I suppose one good thing came out of my heart being overtaken by a fast food chain; I plan on taking a different approach to the Freshman 15 this semester. Who says it has to be weight gain? I'm challenging myself to the Freshman 15 pounds down the drain. Take that Bojangles!