As this semester comes to a close, the next school year will bring new freshmen. For each freshman, there are many fears about future grades and relationships, but the biggest fear for most freshmen is called the freshman fifteen. What is the freshman fifteen? It is the fifteen pounds of weight that average freshmen gain over the first twelve weeks of college. However, this weight change has become more like the college boogeyman than an actual commonplace occurrence.
Most freshmen come to college and must adapt to their new lives and schedules. They must eat when it is possible and whatever is edible. Despite this change in diet, most freshmen do not gain fifteen pounds. This saying actually comes from an average that is applied to the whole of the freshman class. Most freshmen actually either lose weight or gain more than fifteen pounds. According to TeensHealth.org, weight gain can happen to college freshmen for numerous reasons. Eating foods high in carbohydrates and low in nutrition, lack of regulated sleeping, and bad habits such as drinking and smoking are major factors in this problem. Once a student leaves home, it is up to the individual to create healthy habits for living. With eating, portion control is important. Food rich and “good” in taste usually equates high in calories and carbohydrates. When excess calories are being consumed, that is when our bodies begin to create fat. The school cafeteria has guides to portions and caloric intake for easy understanding of what is being consumed. Scheduled sleeping truly makes a difference in weight regulation. According to freshman Gabriella Estaba, ramen and snacks eaten after dinner have negatively affected her weight since coming to college. Weight loss also may happen depending on lifestyle choices that differ from ones made while at home. According to sophomore Lauren Howell, “Playing soccer helped me lose fifteen pounds freshman year, but I gain weight while at home so it is even now.” In the end, weight gain is no longer an issue by senior year. According to a WebMD article on the topic, the weight gained becomes inconsequential if dealt with correctly. By graduation, women usually cycle back to their weight before gaining the freshman fifteen, but men become more muscular because of maturation which can lead to a change in weight as well.
Despite all the information that researchers have about the freshmen fifteen, the average weight gain seems to be less at TFC than most colleges. After interviewing multiple students varying in age and major, students generally do not fluctuate in weight. Many lost weight after attending TFC, and the students who gained weight have gained significantly less than average. Reasons for this would be rules against drinking and smoking. The campus also encourages more overall physical activity because of the natural terrain. The freshmen fifteen does not have to become a reality in a student’s life if there is an intentional effort to avoid gaining weight. With simple lifestyle decisions and embracing healthy choices, this college cliché can be easily avoided.