Everyone has heard of the “Freshman 15”. It is the term for weight gain during Freshman year of college. But what I found interesting about this is that there are many different ways to actually end up at the Freshman 15. At first I thought that it was simply the overall unhealthy lifestyle of college that will catch up to people. But in reality there are certain ways in which Freshman students dealing with different things can find themselves in this position at the end of the year. So what are some of the ways in which this can occur?
Emotional eating can be one of the biggest factors in Freshman gaining weight while they are away at school for the first time. This is often because they are lonely or homesick and eating is one way that they are able to feel comfortable again. This is completely understandable because college is a really difficult transition for some people to make and food can help bridge the gap of feeling away from everything you used to know. This habit can have a snowball effect if one starts finding themselves snacking in their room constantly while they are doing homework.
Another big issue for the Freshman 15 is the fact that for many kids this is the first time that they will go an entire school year without participating in their childhood sports. This is a huge deal that can lead to a student gaining weight without even changing their diet! But what has changed is the amount of exercise that they are doing and therefore they are burning off much fewer calories. This is is why going to the gym on campus or getting outside for some running is absolutely crucial to fighting off unwanted pounds at college.
The good news is that at Penn State there are multiple high quality gyms that one can workout in if they so desire. Specifically, most Freshman are located in East Halls which is extremely close to the IM building. This is a really beneficial perk to have here because the IM building is so nice, it’s not a chore to workout there. So Penn State is trying to help all of its students stay in shape and feeling positive.
Overall, the Freshman 15 usually isn’t 15 pounds worth of fat put on by students during their first year of college. Rather, it is just bad habits that result in slight weight gain. This is important to carefully manage though or else it really could get out of control in a hurry and become extremely unhealthy.