We all fear it. We all know it’s almost inevitable. We all say it will never happen to us. “I won’t be lazy,” you say as you walk home from your final high school soccer practice. “I’ll work out every day. I’ll even cook for myself.”
Say those words to any current college student and the majority will roll their eyes and laugh right in your face.
The freshman fifteen is a legend everyone fears will come to haunt them during their first year on campus. It’s hard to believe that, with so many acres of campus to walk, one could ever give in to their gluttonous ways and become a victim of the dreaded freshman fifteen.
However, it happens and the statistics prove it. But one does not have to give into their carnal, naive, freshman desires. In fact, it is completely plausible to maintain a healthy, productive lifestyle, and still live it up and experience the freshest part of the best four years of our lives. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1) Set a Daily Routine
The best thing you can do for yourself is to create consistency in your day. Wake up around the same time every morning (try to make it before lunchtime) and eat a healthy breakfast like Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or a bowl of fruit to start your day. Try not to give in to sleeping in an extra 5 minutes that will inevitably lead to ten…fifteen…and then twenty. P.S. – lounging on your floor looking at your phone doesn’t count as getting up and being productive.
2) Hit the Gym for at least an hour a day
College schedules are jam-packed, but your best time investment is in yourself. It doesn’t have to be a chore! Check to see if your student recreation center offers fun or challenging classes. Take them with friends and turn your work into a social event.
3) Eat a balanced diet
The key here is the word balanced. That does not mean all greens and chicken. It is OKAY to have Ben and Jerry’s and cheesy bread every once in a while but eating too much can lead to an increase on the scales. Try to limit sweets towards the end of the day as a reward for eating right beforehand.
Be wary of calorie consumption
It should also be noted that in college, excess calories can come from alcoholic beverages many students were not exposed to in high school. If you’re eating right, working out, and still going out at night and drinking pint after pint, newsflash: those calories still count. Try limiting wild night-time activities for the weekend and limiting yourself to a small amount of drinks. Keep some healthy snacks on hand in case you get hit by the “drunchies” after a long night out. This will not only keep you healthy but it will keep you safe from uncomfortable drunken situations. (Nobody wants to be the freshman passed out behind the bar. But that’s for another article…).
The concept is simple but the most valuable part of this equation is motivation and dedication. If you’ve gotten into college, chances are you have enough of both to impact your health and fitness routine and be successful on your college campus. Your freshman experience will only be incredible if you feel good about yourself, so treat your body right and win the battle against the freshman fifteen!
Abby Murphy is a Freshman Telecommunications major at the University of Florida. When she’s not trying to become famous for her to-die-for-brownies or underrated travel blog, you can find her pretending to exercise at the gym or hanging with her sisters. She hopes to look back on her college days as the beginning of an adventurous life filled with travel, memories, and lot’s of ice cream.