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The Freshman’s Guide: Beating the Freshman (and Quarantine) 15

Moving away from home and going into college, many have heard and fear the freshman 15. This year most college freshmen are not only worried about those fifteen pounds but are also dealing with quarantine 15.  Quarantine 15 is a term that arose due to people experiencing weight gain while complying with the stay-at-home orders. Both of these weight gains can be caused by stress-eating, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. 

During times like these, it is important that we keep a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. What is a growth mindset? It is a mindset that allows you to have a positive view of life. It is looking at the glass half full rather than half empty. A growth mindset is important to have especially while being a freshman in college. For many people, it is a time they are experiencing a lot of firsts. Below I listed some healthy habits to pick up, that you can easily do as long as you have this growth mindset!


5 Easy At-Home Exercises (No Equipment Needed!)

  1. Planks

    1. Planks work out your core, improve your posture, and improve your metabolism! If correctly done every day, planks can burn more calories than any other core workout.

  2. Wall-sits

    1. Wall-sits are great for building endurance. This is a lower-body exercise that works out your quads, glutes, and hamstrings – the strongest muscles in your legs.

  3. Squats/Lunges

    1. Squats and lunges are great for building muscle throughout your whole body. Not only do they help shape your body, but they also burn fat and increase movements throughout your joints.

  4. Push-ups

    1. Push-ups are a great way to build upper body strength. This workout targets your triceps, shoulders, and pectoral muscles. 

  5. Leg-raises

    1. There are so many different types of leg raises, and each has its own benefits. Leg-raises overall can strengthen your lower abdomen, and core muscles. 


In addition to being physically healthy, it is also important to remain mentally healthy. Below, I listed some healthy habits that I have been incorporating into my life. These items are proven to have mental health benefits! 


5 Healthy Habits to Pick Up:

  1. Yoga!

    1. There have been many studies done that prove that yoga boosts your mental health. Yoga can tone your body, increase your flexibility, and help your body maintain a healthy balanced metabolism.

  2. Meditation/Breathing

    1. Meditation is a great stress and anxiety reliever. So if you ever think you are feeling overwhelmed, just take a minute to do some breathing exercises or meditation! 

  3. Art

    1. Art is one way to freely express yourself. Sketching, painting, coloring, even making music is a great way to relieve stress! It can also improve your memory.  Overall, it’s a great way to keep your mental health on the up and up while keeping busy during  stay-at-home order!

  4. Read a book!

    1. Not only does reading increase your vocabulary and comprehension skills, but it has three other major health benefits! Just thirty minutes of reading can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, as well as stress levels. So you are not only expanding your brain, but you are also expanding the longevity of your life!

  5. Reflect on your day!

    1. You can do this in so many ways! I recently started doing this with my roommate. Before we go to sleep, we ask each other what five things made our day. It’s simple and easy. Not only does this help stabilize our mental health, but it also gives us a chance to bond one last time before the day is over – which is a nice thing for both of us.


Try some of these out on the daily, and you might see a difference in your health! In times like these, it can be super easy to fall out of a routine. By incorporating some of these in your daily routine, you will feel a lot better, and definitely beat the freshman and quarantine 15!


I am currently a sophomore at Hawai'i Pacific University, seeking a degree in Marine Biology. I am originally from San Diego, and look forward to documenting my experiences at HPU through Her Campus!
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