The Freshman Fifteen: Fact and Fiction

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, 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.

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About Tiffany Rowlett

Who I am I am a current freshman at Toccoa Falls College with a major in Secondary English Education and a minor in counseling psychology. I am a twin to one of the coolest people in the world- my sister Carma. I am also a daughter to an amazing lady of God by the name of Dorothy Statzer, and have a great brother as well. I am from Okeechobee, Florida, and am a pretty rugged individual because of it. Anything to do with water sounds like a good time to me. But, overall, I would rather learn more about you any day of the week rather than talk about myself; however, that would make for an unsatisfactory bio section. Stuff I Love I absolutely adore so many things and people that the list would take much too long to read, but here is a shot at a summary. I love watching ice hockey and especially if I am watching it with my friends in a rink. I love the people around me. I do not do so very faithfully, I dare say, but I do care deeply for my friends and family at the end of the day. I love creation and am such a goober for a Florida sunset, and a Georgia sunrise. I dream about Carolina backroads and Virginia hills. Life has never been the same since I saw the leaves change, and lived a full year of seasons. Beauty is not just confined to the Dirty South, but we have the best sweet tea so that evens out what it does lack in stylistic elements. I absolutely am falling in love with my savior, Jesus Christ. I love dirty Christianity. It’s like playing in the mud with your best friend during a thunderstorm- you are not too sure if you will make it back to safety the same or even alive, but you are truly living regardless of the inherent danger and irresponsibility that lurks nearby. I love the fact that I do not have to have all the right answers or even many answers at all. Even more so, I love that God is with me while I do ask questions that wilt the dreams of the ignorant, and fertilize the hope in the hurting. Falling is love is the messiest thing a person can do. In the end, life is as simple and complicated as falling in love at a coffee shop. If I didn’t know Him, I’d rather not know. If I couldn’t have Him, I’d rather be alone. Why I’m Here I’m here to learn more about and challenge myself, to learn more about who God wants me to be, and to find truth- not just memorize it. I’m also here because Toccoa has a Zaxby’s, and TFC, according to its founder, is a tree God planted (I can dig a good tree). I’m like a crazy mix of Flannery O’Connor and Donald Miller. I want to change the world, and I want to do it really quietly.