College. This word doesn’t seem so frightening for most college students. For freshmen like me, however, it can be as terrifying as watching your first scary movie.
As I am getting accustomed to my surroundings, most of my fears have vanished. I realize that even upperclassmen don’t know where every classroom ist. I realize that no one cares whether you spent thirty minutes planning out a cute outfit only to wind up wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants due to a change in weather.
Most of these fears, though, are normal and even expected for first year students. But apparently these fears are nothing compared to the subject that is only spoken in hushed tones: the dreaded freshman fifteen.
This paranoia has spread like a virus in less than two weeks of being on USF’s campus. I am constantly seeing the same people in sports bras and T-shirts, heading to their new favorite place: the gym.
Visiting the gym two to three times a day is not just psychotic, it’s unhealthy. Remember the phrase “too much of anything is not a good thing?” News flash. This doesn’t exclude exercising. Yes, we need exercise to stay healthy, but one doesn’t need to go to extremes. If you are too tempted to exceed the 30-minute limit on the treadmill, go on YouTube and watch a clip from Chariots of Fire already.
If exercising yourself to death is not the issue, then it’s the “eating” problem. I realize that some of us are self-conscious about our weight. Choosing not to eat, however, is a huge problem. This cannot only cause you to experience irregularity, but on a more serious note, it can lead to an eating disorder.
Don’t even try to give me the excuse that you don’t like the cafeteria food. I am not the kind of person who can eat everything, and I find the food here decent. It’s nothing to rave about, I admit, but it beats my high school’s cafeteria any day.
Finally, the freshman fifteen is usually a result of drinking, eating in all-you-can-eat cafeterias, and sleep deprivation. My response to drinking, realistically speaking, is to drink in moderation. For our cafeteria, there’s finally a plus side to everything being really expensive. In addition, the cafeteria is not all-you-can-eat. As for sleep deprivation, stop studying so hard and go to sleep at an earlier time.
I suppose I sound like a mother right now, but I still stand by my opinion that this freshman fifteen scare needs to stop. If you eat right, exercise regularly, and get a good night of sleep, then hopefully you will be able to keep those daunting pounds off.
For me, though, I have better things to worry about. I may be a freshman who still can’t find her way to every classroom; I may be a freshman who is disappointed she can’t wear all of her summer clothes in San Francisco; and I may be seen in my bathrobe by a guy and blush, but at least I can say I have no fear of the number fifteen.
McKenna Taylor is a freshman undeclared major
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