Shanna Letcher English 4 October 17th, 2009 Why College Students Gain “Freshman Fifteen” Starting college life is far from difficult. In fact, it is fun starting a new way of life. Life without the constant objections from your parents and annoyance from your little sibling is one of the many advantages you gain from college. Cancelled classes, late night parties and toxic amounts of food make college enjoyable. However, this can lead to weight gain. Freshman Fifteen is not a myth and although you may not be unfortunate enough to gain 15 pounds, you might gain some weight.
One of the reasons why oncoming college freshman gain weight is because of the unbalanced nutrition they eat while they in college. At college, your parents aren’t preparing dinner for you like they did every night with a certain kind of meat, vegetable and starch. You’re on your own to eat when you want and how you want. Until you get a set schedule and know how to manage your time in between classes, knowing when to eat and what kinds of foods to eat can be overwhelming. Another reason why oncoming college freshman gain weight is because of the alcohol consumption they pursue.
Obviously students are allowed to go out and do whatever they want without their parents knowing or giving them a set curfew to go back home. College is much different and students gain a great deal of weight from alcohol. Drinking too much has a far more damaging effect than you can predict simply by looking at the number of alcohol calories in a drink. Not only does it reduce the number of fat calories your burn, alcohol can increase your appetite and lower your testosterone levels up to 24 hours after you finish drinking. The infamous “beer belly” is caused by excess alcohol calories being stored as fat.
Yet, less than five percent of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. Students feel that this “partying lifestyle” is new and exciting and as long as there having a good time, there not doing anything wrong or worrying about the consequences that can result from their actions. A third reason why oncoming college freshman gain weight is stress. This is one of the biggest reasons because freshman are not adapted to the college life and find it stressful and complicated. College classes and work overloads are much different then high school classes and students appear to turn to food as some sort of a comfort.
They snack all the time between classes, homework, and studying because they find themselves stressed and don’t know where to turn to except food. The unhealthy snacks in the dorm rooms and meals at the cafeteria aren’t great choices either but when a student is stressed, it doesn’t matter to them what they eat as long as they do it. From my experience so far since I began college, this new lifestyle takes time to get used to. Until I had a set schedule as far as my classes, homework time, study time and down time, my head felt like I was spinning.
All I worried about was when I was going to eat and when I had time. In between classes, I snacked and chose the wrong foods to eat. After about two weeks when I started school, I noticed I was gaining weight and I didn’t like it. It was very important for me to monitor my weight and set myself on a schedule knowing when I had breakfast, lunch dinner, and snacks in between. In time everyone eventually adapts to the change of college but from my experience, the “freshman fifteen” is something almost every student goes through.