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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Why You Actually Don't Want To Be Prescribed Adderall

ADD isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

As I'm writing this, I can feel my concentration slipping. Noises have become enticing, I feel distanced from my phone, and every time someone walks by me in the library, I turn around seeing if it's someone I know. My extended-release Adderall is starting to wear off and my brain is starting to relax back to its natural state. My ADD is climbing out from underneath the blanket of focus I had for 10 hours today.

ADD is not all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, we get prescribed the precious Adderall so many people want, but at what cost? Let me put this in context for you. You know when you're at the library and there's a one really, really loud girl talking on the phone? You know the one. The girl that, for some reason, thinks it's OK to have a full-fledged conversation with her mom about her boyfriend in the middle of the quiet section. The girl that's talking so loud that it's all you can think about, occupying all of your focus. Well, that's what every single person in the room is like when you have ADD.

Distractions that are easy to ignore to someone without ADD are intensified and, instead of focusing on the task at hand, I'm listening to the girl three seats down from me eat her barbecue kettle chips. When you have ADD, it's not just schoolwork you can't focus on. You can't focus on anything. I tried to watch a foreign film one time without my medicine, and I forgot to pay attention to the subtitles. I realized about halfway through the movie that I had no idea what was going on.

What almost everyone that asks me for my Adderall doesn't understand is that I take Adderall to focus how you would normally. When you take my Adderall you feel like you can solve the world's problems. You can bang out an entire project in one night. You can cram for an entire exam fueled by this surge of motivation that seems super-hero-like.

You take my Adderall and ask me, “Is this how you feel all the time?" And, unfortunately, my answer is no. I'll never feel like a limitless mastermind. When I take Adderall, I become a normal human being. I can finish a normal amount of work, in a normal amount of time.

My brain works in two modes: on Adderall, and off Adderall. On Adderall, I'm attentive, motivated and energetic. Off Adderall, I can barely get up the motivation and focus to clean my room or send an email. And it's frustrating. I'm frustrated with my lack of drive. I'm frustrated that this is how my brain operates. Scattered, spastic and very, very unorganized. There's nothing desirable about not being able to finish a sentence because you lost thought mid-way through.

The worst thing that you can say to anyone with ADD is, “I think I should start taking Adderall." Having ADD isn't a free pass to get super-pills, having ADD means you have a disability. I take Adderall because I have a disability, and it wasn't a choice I had a say in. I was tested for ADD my freshman year of college.

My parents were skeptical because they didn't know exactly what ADD was. To them, the kids with ADD were the bad kids in school that caused a scene and were constantly sent out of class. Not an above average student in her first year at a university. I went to a counselor and, after I was diagnosed with ADD, told me with a straight mouth, “Marissa this is something you're going to have to take for the rest of your life."

When the late-night assignments and cramming for the tests are over, and we're all out in the real world, I'm still going to be taking Adderall. When I'm raising a family and have to take the right kid to the right place for soccer practice, I'm still going be taking Adderall. And when I'm trying to remember the numbers they just said for bingo at my nursing home, I'm still going to be taking Adderall.

So you tell me you're jealous that I get prescribed Adderall? Don't be. I'm jealous that you can drink a cup a coffee and motivate yourself once you lose focus. I'm jealous that the success of your day doesn't depend on whether or not you took a pill that morning. The idea of waking up and performing a full day without my medicine is foreign to me.

My brain works in two modes, and I don't know which one is the right one. I don't know which mode is the one the big man upstairs wants me to operate in. So before you say you want to be prescribed to Adderall, ask yourself if you need and want to operate in two different modes.

Ask yourself if you want to rely on medicine to make your entire life work. If I had a choice, I would choose coffee like the rest of the world.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Getting Over Your Fears

It is so hard but feels so good all at the same time.


I am the type of person who does not have normal fears. I don't mind spiders or snakes. But I have some fears that are so irrational and make zero sense. Yet they're still there. Over the past year or so I have successfully gotten over a few of my biggest fears and feel super proud and powerful knowing I can do things on my own.

The first one is finding a good doctor, in a new state.

It is so hard to find a doctor when you are used to YOUR doctor that you have seen your entire life. And you are far away from home and do not have the help of your parents. What do you do? Where do you go? Who do you call?

The answer is, you ask everyone. Any person you know who is in the area, ask. You will get a HUGE variety of answers and when you find the right answer, you will just know. You will be able to feel it, like damn that is the doctor I need to see. And then you call and make the appointment and feel a huge huge weight off your shoulders.

Unless you are like me…

Then you just feel more anxious because you hate new doctors, almost as much as you hate getting your haircut. Which is ironic, because one you're going to be a doctor and two whenever you get your hair done, you do something different whether it be color or cut or even both.

But the doctors are a little more serious.

So I recently had a relatively urgent doctors appointment (don't worry, I'm not dying) and I drove myself there and sat through the entire appointment and drove home all by myself. It was awful. I may have teared up once while inside.


I drove home, and I was super tired from everything and being anxious all day but also super super proud of myself for getting through everything and actually accomplishing something I wouldn't usually do.

On a much lighter and more humorous note…

Do you know how people are TERRIFIED of spiders, or snakes or rats? I am terrified like will cry and run, absolutely terrified of…


Yes, frogs.

And honestly, the next step is to try to at least be able to be in the same area of a frog without becoming incredibly anxious. This will hopefully allow me to be much more comfortable with so many different outdoor activities and even better at my current job.

While facing your fears is terrifying and super super hard it makes you a much more well rounded. You can do things you never thought you would be able to do and feel accomplished.

It is like when I crashed my car, I was afraid to drive again when I got home. But my mom knew that I had to drive because if I didn't drive immediately after I probably wouldn't have. It was both terrifying but also so important and imperative to my everyday life.

The point is to just do something that scares you every day, even if it is small and seems "dumb". You won't regret it.

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