The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

You shouldn’t stress the Freshman 15


Whether you’re fresh off to college or have spent years walking the halls of ULM, you’ve heard your parents warn you of the dreaded Freshman 15. 

As a senior, I’d love to tell you that it’s an overblown issue that likely won’t affect you and that your newfound joy from late-night runs to Whataburger and Taco Bell won’t do harm. 

The Freshman 15 is real, and for a lot of us, it’s bound to happen. PubMed Central reviewed 32 studies and found that over 60% of college students gained, on average, seven-and-a-half pounds during their first year. 

Now that might not be a full 15 pounds, but that’s still enough to get a comment or two from your grandparents when you go home for Thanksgiving.

So, to avoid having your least favorite aunt scoff when you go back for a turkey leg this fall, here’s my advice from someone who’s been there.

Get Those Steps In:

 ULM is not a campus where you need to drive from place to place every day. Even for those of us who live across the bayou, a walk from there to the farthest reaches of campus is only about a 15-minute walk going one way. When it stops being 90-something every day, it’s not an insane trek. 

I know some people who live on campus and try to park in that lot across from Hemphill, but you’re not saving much time by driving. 

Try walking unless it’s storming outside. It’ll help keep you a little lighter.

If you’re one of the many commuters, try to park closer to your last class of the day. You’ll walk more early in the day and be able to leave immediately after a long day. 

Head to the AC:

If you’d rather build a habit that might lead to you flexing on Instagram, you should consider some trips over to the Activity Center. Whether your idea of being in shape comes from the treadmill, weights or some pickup basketball, they got your fix. 

Let me preface by saying I am nowhere near a fitness expert, but it sounds like common sense that some exercise is better than none.

You don’t have to leg press so much that walking up a flight of stairs is your enemy for the next two days; just get in there and make a habit. 

Bring some friends and make the best of it, or pack some headphones to either listen to a podcast or discover new music. 

If you’re stressing about getting judged in the gym, you shouldn’t. I’m far from being in good shape, and I’ve never had anyone come up to me and say something or hear someone laugh when I try weights that I have no business trying. 

Everyone there’s trying to get better, so don’t sweat it when you’re trying to break a sweat. 

Don’t Get Stuffed All the Time:

If you’re a resident, having unlimited meal swipes opens the door to a lot of trips to Schulze. 

I had the mindset as a freshman that I was going to get my money’s worth out of a meal plan that cost literally thousands of dollars.

And I did. 

My parents warned me about eating too much and the possibility of me gaining a lot of weight fast.

And I did.

Look, some of the food there is great. I’ll take Schulze’s fried chicken over KFC any time. 

But looking back, it was inexcusable how much I’d eat on a nightly basis. That’s not even counting how many times I’d go out to eat with friends.

Don’t fall into the trap I did, and know when to put the fork down.

Have Fun:

Your college years are supposed to be the best years of your life. So if everything I just said makes it sound absolutely soulless and unenjoyable, feel free to disregard it. 

Fun is sometimes going to take the form of big dinners and days when you don’t leave your dorm. That’s the beauty of college.

You may have done right all day, just for your tipsy friend to call you at night just to see who’s sober enough to take them to Taco Bell. 

Take them, and get yourself some tacos too. 

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