by Amanda Parker – Horizon Features Editor
Amanda Parker surveyed 129 on-campus students. She found that while 15 pounds may be an exaggeration, students DO put on weight their first year of school. In addition, female students tend to gain more weight than male students.
The dreaded “Freshman 15” is not just a myth. Many Hesston students indicate that they’ve put on at least some weight their first year of school. So, why is this? More importantly, what do we do about it?
The first year of college involves more change, more stress, and more personal challenge. Food is a big way that students deal with stress. You are meeting new friends, academic demands, relationships, and money worries are all big factors of freshman year. Also the support system is different from high school, you don’t have your friends and family from back home so college students learn how to self-soothe and they do that mostly with food. A lot of students stay up late studying and doing homework so they get hungry and eat an extra meal at 1 a.m. Here at Hesston College we have the Larks Nest, which is open from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for students to get all kinds of fried food or ice cream.
Luckily, there are many ways to avoid gaining weight your freshman year of college. A big one is working out. If you exercise at least five days a week for a couple of hours each day that will help you keep your weight or lose weight and stay in shape, and also exercise helps cope with stress. The Wellness Center is a great option where you can swim, run, ride a stationary bike, and lift weights.
Another way is to eat healthy. If you stay away from the junk food and fast food you won’t put on the weight. Lastly, only eat three meals a day. If you are up all night studying and get hungry don’t eat a burger and fries, have an apple or a small snack. Have healthy snacks available so you can resist the temptation to make a late-night McDonalds run.