Slim Chance of Freshman 15

Before I came to Penn State, everyone would always tell me “make sure you avoid that Freshman 15” and even my mother would remind me each time I talked to her she would always remind me too watch my intake. According to this article, Seventeen Magazine were the ones who created this myth on their cover of the August edition in 1989. Ever since that everyone has made it a bigger deal than it should be and tried to avoid the weight gain.

Personally, I love nothing more than snacking. Since I snack so much, you’d think I would gain weight but no I haven’t. Here’s the trick friends, you have to burn those calories off. Our campus is 8,556 acres and wow thats a lot of acres  to walk so that Freshman 15 can one hundred percent be avoided. On this website, the author stated that many freshmen will only gain 2.5 to 6 pounds.

In 2006 there was a study that 137 females who were freshmen at the University of Oklahoma were weighed at the beginning of the fall semester and the end of the spring semester. In this study the average weight gain was only two pounds.

11 thoughts on “Slim Chance of Freshman 15

  1. Anna Strahle

    I am currently a sophomore, but as a freshman I was extremely worried about the weight that I could possibly gain. I can never say no to Ben and Jerry’s or one of those family size bag of Doritos, but like you, I realized that as long as I stayed active, and didn’t indulge my cravings everyday, I was ok. My dorm was only about 50 feet away from the gym, so to build up the motivation to go to the gym was not that difficult. Also, I had class twice a week all the way up behind the lion shrine. With all of that extra activity, I was able to balance out the bad stuff. So if you’re worried about gaining the freshman 15, I don’t think that you should stop eating all of your favorite foods. It’s all in moderation!

  2. sbm5465

    Although I agree with your idea that the Freshman 15 is certainly less common and less daunting than everyone makes it out to be, it definitely depends on the person. One of my friends here simply refuses to eat at the dining hall more than twice or three times a week. For every other meal, she is either eating takeout from downtown or a packaged snack from the convince store. I haven’t noticed any drastic weight gain yet, but I’m sure if she keeps up with these habits, she’s heading down the road of the freshman 15. I on the other hand, try to eat at the dining hall as much as possible, try to balance the sweets I’m eating with a salad or apples and peanut butter, and I go to the gym occasionally. I think people that simply eat a relatively balanced diet will be fine. It’s the people like my friend that go crazy because their parents aren’t around to tell them what to eat anymore, that we have to worry about.

  3. dcd5251

    The freshman 15 was something I was definitely worried about coming into Penn State. Everyone warned me about it but especially my mom. She made basically all my meal so she made sure that I ate my fruits and vegetables and stayed healthy. I am so glad you addressed this topic. Over the past couple weeks, I was thinking about how I skip out on certain meals because I just don’t have the time for them. I also noticed how much walking I was doing, and if you really think about it, the distance you walk in a day really adds up. I think the freshman 15 is a myth as long as you keep it that way. Clearly eating a cheeseburger and fries with a large soda is not the best health decision while at college. If you eat healthy, and exercise, the freshman 15 will not get the best of you.

  4. Salvatore Mattioli

    I agree with your point of view, gaining weight is a result of the student’s personal choices. While it is certainly easy to resort to comfort food and sedentary lifestyle choices, it is just as easy to exercise and eat healthy, especially at a young age. One interesting fact that I learned about this phenomenon is that females are much more likely to gain weight after starting college whereas males are more likely to lose weight. I can personally attest to this theory as i lost a significant amount of weight after my first semester. This article goes into more detail about the freshman 15 and how to avoid it.

  5. cas6568

    Although Penn State is a huge campus and a lot of people burn off calories by walking, there are so many unhealthy options at their fingertips. In the East dining hall at least, there’s cake, pudding, pizza, spaghetti and meat balls, and even a convenience store with loads of unhealthy food. And, not all people decide to walk to their classes. A lot of people take the bus, or they’ll even take an uber. In the article below, is a list of excuses as to why people eat unhealthy:

    There have also been many observational studies that go against your point. Read this article here, and it will tell you about how the freshman 15 is more than possible.

  6. jcr5533

    I think the freshman 15 is a legitimate thing. In college, kids are exposed to a lot of alcohol, drugs, and carbs. All of which are contributing factors to weight gain. I think that all of the walking and exercise does help, but not completely. We spend a lot of time eating and watching Netflix in our dorms (at least I do) and that is extremely bad for you. Then drinking beer on top of that, your bound to pack on a couple of pounds, unless you have a super fast metabolism.

  7. Candace Burke

    I completely agree with this! For the amounts that I am walking I think it might be impossible to gain the freshman 15. I was wondering if in your research you found anything on if the times of the school year (finals weeks or exam weeks) have an impact on this.

  8. oke5010

    I am so happy someone wrote about the “Freshmen 15” it definitely can be avoided, especially on this huge campus. I came from a branch campus that maybe is a quarter the size of University Park. (Don’t quote me on that because it might even be smaller) Even at that small campus gaining weight can be avoided! Students just need to make sure they get enough sleep, workout occasionally, and eat pretty well. It also helps when you get involved in groups or intramural sports to keep you busy. As long as you make smart decision concerning your health you’ll be fine….so don’t drink too much beer!

  9. Sarah Tarczewski

    Penn State is on an extremely large campus, so maybe that walk from East to Willard is what keeps us all thin. It may be a confounding variable on our part. That being said, I also found the Freshman 15 to be a myth last year. Although I did end up gaining weight, it was a negligible 2 pounds that I found was more due to my stress eating come finals week and quickly shed that weight. As long as you’re eating responsibly and in moderation, you shouldn’t experience any enormous weight gain. The key, at least for me, is to be conscious of what you’re putting in your body. Maybe skip the pizza area in the dining commons a couple time. Say no to that late night canyon once or twice. Go for a run every once and a while. These little things add up and the Freshman 15 is easily avoided.

  10. Rebecca Jordan Polaha

    This is a very interesting look on how changing your environment may or may not effect your body! It really is true that it’s not hard to avoid the freshman 15 due to our campus’ size. A lot of dining halls serve very healthy food too, so it’s obviously not always just pizza and burgers!

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