5 Tips On How to Shed your Freshman 15

5 Tips On How to Shed your Freshman 15

Tips on how to stay healthy while in college.

Going into my freshman year of college, I had goals I wanted to uphold throughout the year. Besides making good grades and staying focused on taking every opportunity that came my way, I wanted healthy eating and regular fitness apart from my everyday routine.

I was determined!

My final year in high school, I was killing the healthy body, mind, and soul. I worked out before and after all of my dance practices, obtained a healthy diet, and I was becoming confident in my achievement for my perception of myself improved every day the more I worked it.

Couple weeks into college I started losing sight of my goals I set before I left for college. I started stress eating, and workouts became less frequent. Going into college I thought the freshman 15 was a myth, but boy was I wrong.

The good news is that I overcame this issue and so can you. Many college students face this issues every year and the following tips really helped me get back on track of shedding the freshman 15 and making sure that the sophomore 15 will never be an option.

1. Talk is cheap

Many students will acknowledge that they have gained a couple pounds. The truth is yes college is stressful, there are late nights, and on our schedule exercise is the one task many people don't have a problem crossing off and never get to. If you find yourself saying " maybe next week", or my diet starts Monday", talk is cheap and make a difference at the moment.

For me, I noticed that I lost sight of the goals I set at the beginning of the semester and I knew what it took to get back to my happy weight and my overall appearance of myself. My best advice is if you want to make a change vow to yourself that you are doing this for you and your overall happiness.

2. Make time for you

College can be very congested with study sessions, lab hours, or even greek events, but having a regular workout routine will help you maintain your positive streak of getting your grind on. For me, I knew that on my busier days, I would have to sacrifice the couple snoozes and get an early start of the day with a quick run or a visit to the rec. Whether it's a twenty-minute run or a two-hour workout killer sesh, every minute counts and will help you get back to that six pack you had in high school.

Helpful tips that helped me: Acknowledge you are getting too comfortable with your workout and change it up regularly by kicking it up a notch with weights or running for an extra five minutes.
Also, Alabama offers great recreational classes every day with multiple time frames to choose from at all recreational centers. These include Yoga, Cycling, and many other cardio classes instructed to make sure you are getting your best workout and help you reach your goals of wellness. Of the classes, Powertrip is my favorite and really helped me get my definition in my muscles back.

3. Walk it out

Even though Alabama has very convenient free transportation across campus, avoid taking the bus from class to class. going to dinner on the strip, or a trip back to the dorms from Lloyd? Lace up your Asics and get moving because every step counts. This is a great way to clear your mind and reach your apple watch goals.

Helpful tips that helped me: Even if I had an eight am, I created a playlist that made the walk very enjoyable and even made time to stop at Starbucks on my way to class. Walking with a friend will also make the time more enjoyable.

4. Fried Friday?

Many people get very excited for the one day a week with friend mac and cheese, fried chicken, and well basically anything deep fried. If you decide to participate in this food coma event, make the best decisions for your body.

Always consider replacing the fried chicken with grilled and treat yourself to one fried treat. If you're depriving yourself of these meal items, you are more likely to consume more than your body can take in fear of missing out.

Helpful tip that helped me: I had a goal in mind and fried chicken didn't quite fit in reaching it. Instead of never eating these meal items again, I would maybe have fried Fridays one a month or only acknowledge that I am not a fan of the item fried that week and only indulge in foods that I will enjoy. I am not a big fan of fried food for it does not agree with me, but if fried oreos were on the menu, I treated myself within moderation.

5. Treats

When eating healthy, it is important to never deprive yourself of things that bring you joy. College is one big stress ball and the food is always a great comfort. My best advice is to treat yourself and maybe find a healthy hack of your favorite treat so you can stay on track of shedding the freshman 15.

Helpful tip that helped me: I love going to Heritage House and when it comes to the baked oatmeal, I am weak! In this situation, consider overlooking your favorite spot's menu and see if they have any healthy alternatives. For example, Heritage House offers a gluten-free oatmeal bake that eliminated the unnecessary carbs and tates just as yummy as the origional.

Now as my first year at Alabama has come to a close, I leave with not only the grades I worked for, but for the body, I originally came to school with. I am very fortunate that I have achieved this goal and created an obtainable a diet that keeps me loving what I'm eating and making every trip to the gym a field day.

Now preparing for my sophomore year, I know what to expect and ready to take on another year even stronger and 15 pounds lighter!

Cover Image Credit: Julia Smith

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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Fiction On Odyssey: Love Is The Ultimate Poison

A story about a girl too afraid to love.


As I stood in front of my opponent before the fight, I oddly couldn't help but think about the last time I loved someone. Her name was Mindy Dubé, my last foster mother. She had smiling, slightly wrinkled honey brown eyes, a plump and open face. I thought she would be everything that my old foster parents were; never loving and always controlling. But she was different. Maybe because the first time I arrived at her house, she didn't smile broadly and hug me possessively. Instead, she took her keys from her pocket, tossed them to me with a mischievous look on her face and said:

"How about we take a drive? I'll ride shotgun." Knowing that she probably read my records of driving off in my old foster parent's cars repeatedly, I figured she was either stupid or insane. Or maybe she just felt my need to escape. And so there I was a sixteen-year-old driving illegally without a permit with my new foster mom riding shotgun.

I drove past the neighborhood, past the shopping mall, past the city limits, and down the highway. I drove until the sky grew dark and my body shook with fatigue. She then put her hand on my shoulder— the first time she touched me— and had me pull over, get out and sit in the passenger seat while she drove back. All five hours and seven minutes of it. After that, it was easy to love her, because she gave me the chance to heal from the pain of feeling abandoned, unloved, and thrown away. I just didn't know it at the time. By then it was too late.

It happened on a rainy March afternoon. I had just come home from school, tired and dreading the day's homework. Tossing my soggy Converse by the front door, I made my way upstairs to my room and stopped short by the door. There I saw a small black box on my bed. I walked up to it and picked it up, feeling its smooth satiny surface and opened it. Inside was a simple, glistening gold pendant with the initials M. D engraved in cursive on its surface. Mara Dubé. Somehow it fit. I felt a piece me, jagged and marred melt and mold to my broken heart; forever sore but intact once again.

I found her in her roomy office typing on her laptop. She stood up hesitantly when she saw the box in my hand.

"I wasn't sure if it was the right time to—" She stopped, noticing the utter joy on my face.

"Mom." I had said, my vision blurred by tears. As I walked towards her, her face brightened at the word. But just like the sky, the brightness dimmed. One step, her skin grew pale. Another step and a sheen of sweat coated her skin like a crashed wave gliding on the sand. I thought she was hit by the overwhelming joy of being called mom for the first time. I stepped ever closer, and she slowly sat down. Her golden eyes had shone with unshed tears. Her lips parted, her nostrils flared. Her breath shortened. She gently leaned back into her chair her head pointed heavenward and screamed.

Her scream reverberated through my bones. Her neck tensed from the pressure of it. I had rushed towards her, and blue veins on the side of her face slithered and turned black, her gentle face filled with an unknowable agony. I stopped, my body hovering inches from her and it got worse; her mouth open and voice silent. That's when I had realized it was me. I had stepped back, back, back, and further still until I was across the room. She became normal with every step. There was a profound pause where we stood staring at each other in terrified shock, and then I ran, the black box dropping from my hand. The piece of me broken once again. I ran through the rain and never came back. It was me, all me. My love was poison and—

"Mara! Stay focused!" Someone yelled from the crowd that surrounded me and my opponent. She bounced on the balls of her feet in anticipation, her mouth spread in a wicked grin. I grinned too because I felt the excitement of the crowd. There's nothing better than a good crowd at a street fight.

She swung, her long brown arm reaching wide. I ducked and landed a punch to her stomach. I felt the fire of the punch, felt the weese of her breath on my neck as she contracted forward, and it felt good. It felt powerful. But she recuperated too soon. Her knee was a blur as it connected with my nose. I felt drops of blood drip from my nose and into my mouth. I smiled, teeth stained red. I just needed to keep the pain away.

How about you drive and I ride shotgun.

She swung again and her fist connected with one of my eyes. A foot kicked my stomach. A fist connected with my skull.

I drove and drove and drove.

I staggered. She kicked. I stood up and swung. I swang and swang and swung. My fists connected with flesh and I just couldn't stop. I felt the heat and sweat of my opponent's skin as I punched her again and again.

Her hand was warm on my shoulder

She was down on the ground, her arms trying to block my fists, her face covered in blood. I kicked her in the stomach and she rolled. All I saw was her and eternal blackness; her and my fist hitting her face. All I felt was rage at that moment.

It was easy to love her

Strong hands gripped my arms and pulled them back. I struggled against their grip, wanting to just hit someone. Something. And then the roar of the crowd brought me back to reality. Limbs and clothing jumped and writhed in varied motions. They were cheering, cheering for me.


"Mara! Mara!" They all chanted. Through the spaces of moving limbs, I could see my opponent on the ground motionless. Her black hair spilled in waves around her. A little girl that looked to be the younger sister of the fighter leaned over her, wailing. With new found strength, I pulled my arms from the hand's tight grip and pushed my way through the crowd and into the center of the circle.

The black box dropped from my hand.

"GET AWAY!" The girl screamed. She tried to push me back but I was already there checking for a pulse, tears in my eyes. I've gone too far. I destroyed the one person that this little girl loved.

It was me, all me.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so so sorry" I sobbed. I breathed in and out trying to stay calm as I felt the pulse on the girl's neck. " What's her name?" I asked the young sister. I at least want to know a part of her that was still alive. Live, please live. I don't want this girl to live the life that I have had. Live. I felt something inside of me build up and disperse like warm sunshine.

Love is an emotion that takes place over time. That's the scary part; the not knowing when the time has stopped. By then it's just a faulty bomb strapped to the heart, secreting its passionate chemicals and poisoning the blood. I know this because that's what I am. I'm that faulty bomb. I'm that chemical. I'm the poison in your blood and I will ruin you without knowing when because time is an obscure concept anyways.

My love was poison and—

The dead girl glowed. I checked her pulse and felt a flutter of life.

Cover Image Credit:

Eric Ward

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