My Take On Freshman 15: Don't Be Afraid To Gain A Few Pounds!

My Take On Freshman 15: Don't Be Afraid To Gain A Few Pounds!

It is the common case that freshmen will eat poor foods packed with sugars and fats that contain no nutritional values.

So if you are wondering: “Hey Christine, are you a certified nutritionist or dietician?” No, no I am not. Therefore, please take all of this with a grain of salt. Thank you.

If I asked a room full of incoming freshmen, “Who has heard of the ‘Freshmen 15?’” I would expect the whole room to raise their hands. College is when the Freshmen 15 hits you. Coming to Syracuse University, I had certain doubts that this was true – I soon found out it was indeed true.

If you are one of the few who are unfamiliar with this term, let me explain it to you. When incoming freshmen are thrown into college, they are given a precious gift—the gift of freedom. With free reign, freshmen can do anything they want (in legal boundaries, of course). Freshmen can live without curfew, skip class, and eat whatever they want, whenever, with whoever. With this power, it is the common case that freshmen will eat poor foods packed with sugars and fats that contain no nutritional values. This is where the “Freshmen 15” comes into play. It is stated that freshmen will gain about 15 pounds their first year. From personal experience, this is quite true.

To the incoming freshmen, do not be scared. It usually is not all 15 pounds. Most people just gain a few pounds here and there, but this is normal. At a new environment with new food, it is harder to adjust and gaining weight is normal. Therefore, I first advise you to come in with an open mind and not be scared of what might inevitably happen. If you understand that this is a possibility, you can take action to combat it.

Firstly, when you enter a dining hall, do not gravitate towards all of the greasy, fried, extra-saucy foods that catches your eye. Obviously those will look more appetizing than the plain salad bar, but eating salad as part of your meal is not that bad. You can help prevent the “Freshmen 15” by cutting part of your fried, salty, or greasy food and adding a leafy salad that will fill you up with nutrients. If you think about it, how amazing is it that you have the option of having a fresh salad bar with a wide variety of ingredients and dressings? Take advantage of it! Just go easy on the dressing.

Secondly, when you are coming home late from class and all you want to do is order some Dominos with your friends, you will most likely do it. There is no doubt about it. However, just keep track of how often this happens. As college students with no curfew, we thrive late at night. Midnight becomes our early evening. Ordering food at 1am is the norm. Nevertheless, it is not healthy to be eating so late at night. At home, we eat dinner and maybe a snack before heading off to bed. In college, you order Chinese late at night and go to bed in the wee hours of the morning cramming for tests or finishing essays.

Lastly, the third tip I will leave you with is to go and take advantage of the gym. This is an amazing opportunity for you to go and try out the machines and free workout classes. Most of the time, the gym membership is free for students, (if your school makes you pay, shame on them) and it is conveniently on the campus for easy access. By going to the gym for even a mere 30 minutes will keep you motivated to reach for healthier food options and stay in shape. Do not be afraid to take everything your school offers because you are paying for it!

I am human. I do not go to the gym every week. I have moments when I fall apart and choose the sugary chocolate cookies. I go days, maybe weeks with loss of motivation that influences me to guiltily avoiding the gym. I like to order food late at night with my friends. Due to all of these factors, I did gain a couple of pounds; however, I do not regret doing any of these. This is college, and I am here to experience. I am here to grow and learn more about how to use my freedom to become someone I am proud to be. I have motivational slumps, but I learn to move past them and find inspiration in becoming a better me. I order pizza late at night, but I get to make more memories with my friends. It is important to understand the “Freshmen 15” and make changes to prevent it. However, with fear of the “Freshmen 15”, do not limit yourself of living. These 4 years will fly by quick, so use these tips to fight the scary “Freshmen 15,” but do not be afraid to gain a few pounds if that means you are just living the fullest.

Cover Image Credit: Ontheregimen

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.


Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.

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Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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