Yes, Emphasizing The "Freshman 15" Is Dangerous
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Yes, Emphasizing The "Freshman 15" Is Dangerous

No college student needs that kind of negativity.

68
Yes, Emphasizing The "Freshman 15" Is Dangerous
Flickr

When you think of freshman year of college, what are the first five things you think of?

I'm assuming there's a very good chance the Freshman 15 was on that list.

What was meant to be a caution to incoming college freshmen about the potential effects of switching over from a home kitchen to a college dining hall has now become a concept that is shoved down the throats of both college students and high school students. Even major news publications such as The Washington Post have published articles about the freshman 15 and how to beat it. Although it is true that many freshmen do gain weight once they enter their freshman year, constantly reminding students of this possibility is in no way helping college students.

As someone who has a weight that is constantly fluctuating, I was absolutely terrified of gaining the freshman 15 going into my freshman year. I had been told before college (and yes, by a doctor) that I was nearing the magical number that decided I was overweight for my height and that I had to be careful about what I ate once I went to college so that I wouldn't gain any more weight.

Fast forward to less than a year later, and I was almost 25 pounds lighter, the exact opposite of the poster child for the freshman 15. When I returned home, I had people complimenting me for the amount of weight I had lost. It's what made me hate being called skinny.

I hadn't lost that weight because I decided to eat healthy and exercise more, I lost the weight because I was terrified of gaining any while I was at school. Whenever I ate, the thought of gaining the freshman 15 sat at the back of my mind. Seeing "MyFitnessPal" tell me they wouldn't give me a report on the progress I was making because I wasn't eating enough (a tool used by the app to show users that it does not promote unhealthy dieting) gave me a strange satisfaction every time.

I was so worried about overeating and gaining the freshman 15 that I pushed myself in the opposite direction, oftentimes restricting my food to only two small meals a day. A year later, I watched a video of a group of girls walking away from the camera on a friend's phone, only to realize that one of the girls in the video was me, and I had looked so much skinnier than I had thought I was.

Some may say this was just a case of my own problems surfacing in the form of my freshman year eating habits, but this is a problem that many other people are noticing as well. One of my peers talked about eating disorders in college-aged females here. The pressure to look good and create a fabulous life at college to report back to friends and family while avoiding gaining the freshman 15 is incredibly high for all students, especially when paired with the rigors of a college class schedule.

While lessening the use of the term "Freshman 15" may not change students' behaviors regarding it, it may open up the floor for discussion of more important topics such as staying healthy and active during the school year, not just avoiding weight gain. The emphasis on a purely physical characteristic when a freshman enters college allows for the cultivation of an anti-body positive environment in a place that should be doing the opposite of that.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

2780
panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!

6590
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-white-book-1043514/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-typing-on-type...

Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

18265
To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

20456
The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date
rawpixel

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Winter Break As Told By 'Friends'

Is a month at home too much to handle?

13016

If you're anything like me, winter break is a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel after a long, stressful semester. Working hard for 15 weeks can really take a toll on a person mentally, physically AND emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to be back at home with your family and friends, but after a couple weeks, it can get, well... boring.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments