My College Weight Gain: More Than Just the “Freshman 15”

For most of my life, my doctor was extremely concerned about my low weight. She’d give my mom a look that forced us to explain to her that yes, I do eat. A lot. I would proudly boast that after a long volleyball practice I could eat two homewrecker burritos from Moes and still have room for chips and queso.  

Older women throughout my life told me that my metabolism was a blessing and said, “Enjoy it while you can.” I knew that I wasn’t as filled out as other girls my age, but I didn’t really care. I didn’t have a booty to fill out my volleyball spandex. I even saw a comment from a stranger on the internet calling me “bones” (um, rude!), but that didn’t phase me. I knew my body was receiving the fuel it needed and my coaches assured me that I would “grow into myself”.  

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I realized I had gained a lot of weight. I took a trip to the infirmary and when they made me step on the scale I realized that I had put on almost thirty pounds since my freshman year. I hadn’t even noticed. I started frantically looking back on pictures of myself and the pictures showed that I had changed.

After seeing the number on that scale, I was in full-on-panic mode. How could this have happened? Have I been eating right? Is it because I’m lazy? Had other people noticed? I couldn’t believe myself.

I bought a membership to Orangetheory and worked out there twice a week. On days that I didn’t go to Orangetheory, I went to the PAC and ran at least 2 miles. I also began counting my calories through an app and restricting my diet by replacing meals with protein shakes. Spring break was coming up and I was determined to look the way I was used to being my entire life: underweight.

All of my over-exercising and under-eating eventually led to a drop in my weight, but it wasn’t a significant difference. I felt worse, my energy plummeted, and I was always hungry. I had to come to my own realization that I was healthy exactly the way that I was.

My weight is average for my height and age. It’s completely normal to gain weight in college, and the way I was judging myself was not a sustainable way to live.

Young women should not have to feel pressure to look a certain way. As women, our bodies will most certainly go through change in one way or another. No matter what your size or weight is, it’s important that we work towards being confident and feeling comfortable in the bodies we live in.

Remember, it’s just a number on a scale. As long as you’re eating healthy foods, getting good sleep and exercising, weight shouldn’t be a worry of yours. If you experience weight gain in college, embrace your new curves (or lack thereof), be realistic and always remember to love yourself. It’s the only body we’ve got, so take care of it!




If you have concerns about your diet, Furman offers nutritional counseling! A registered dietitian is available on campus in the counseling center for 6 hours a week. They offer nutritional counseling for students with concerns related to eating, diet, and body image.

To book an appointment call (864)-294-3031.