Honestly, I never believed the whole freshmen 15 thing before attending college. You hear the warnings from family, but the last thing on my mind I was the possibility of gaining weight my freshman year without realizing it. Well, I’m here to tell you that what I once thought was just an over exaggerated myth, is actually a real thing.
According to WebMD, “A new study shows that nearly one in four freshman gain at least 5 percent of their body weight, an average of about 10 pounds, during their first semester.” Now, the crazy thing is you don’t even notice the weight slowly creeping up on you. All of a sudden, you put on a pair of pants or shorts, after wearing sweatpants and lazy attire to class, and suddenly they feel tighter than normal. Unfortunately, when this happens, you realize you may just have to throw away your favorite pants from junior year.
The biggest theory behind the freshman 15 is “weight gain attributed to snack consumption, larger meal portions, and decreased activity,” according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information/U.S. Library of Medicine. This could be due to the crazy new workload of college assignments, weekly exams, and oftentimes lack of nutritious meals supplied by the university. According to Health Magazine, “70 percent of students gain weight during college.”
Camryn Blount, a freshman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, noticed the piled on pounds during her first semester at college. “It’s crazy because you don’t think the weight gain or the 15 pounds will happen to you,” Blount said. “But, one day I just looked up and it was there.”
Although she notes that her body type doesn’t naturally have a high metabolism, she realized that the food she ate is extremely important. “I craved a lot of junk, like sweets sometimes,” she said. “I wouldn’t think about how much I was eating of it because that’s what I always did back home. It really does add up and I changed my eating habits for the good.”
Maddie Brown, also a freshman at the University of Nevada, was unaffected by added pounds. “I didn’t really gain much or lose,” Brown said. “I guess I’m pretty lucky because I’ve always been pretty skinny, which I kinda hate.”
Although she hasn’t gained any weight personally, she does believe the freshman 15 is real. “I have friends that have gained weight this year and they’re pretty unhappy about it,” she said. “That’s why we decided this semester to really get in the gym and change our eating habits to the best of our abilities.”
I’ll admit, I gained five to ten pounds too, but I like the extra weight. Now I’m working on toning this new version of myself.
For all you seniors about to graduate high school, don’t let the freshman 15 scare you, but know it is a real thing. If you want to gain some weight while you’re in college, then do it. If you want to lose some weight, then do that. You are in control of your body, just don’t let the freshman 15 be in control of you.
By Kori Barnes, Freshman, University of Nevada, Las Vegas