Protons, Neutrons, Electrons and Croutons

Before going away to college there are common things everyone drills into your head. “Don’t walk anywhere alone at night”, “Be smart, be safe, know your ‘limits’” and “Beware of the Freshman 15”. This common mantra is repeatedly drilled into young women’s minds is becoming detrimental to their health. This isn’t an article that is going to list the facts, dangers, and statistics of eating disorders amongst college girls. Any girl an recite these like the lyrics to the latest Beyoncè hit. This, in its simplest form, is the alternative view on the Freshman 15.

She’s seven weeks into her first semester of college. A week away from final exams, balancing her social life with her plethora of new friends as well as keeping up with her 15 credit schedule (most likely including finite and/or K201). After her day of three classes she gets back to her room - obviously exhausted. The student takes out her work and begins studying. The next time she looks at the clock it is 1:30 a.m.

The problem with your average female student’s day is the importance of eating healthy or eating at all. There is no way that the greek yogurt you eat before your 8 a.m. can hold you over until night time. Students prioritize their overabundance of work over their need to eat. When this mindset becomes a daily habit, it is not only scary and stressful, but dangerous and destructive to your body. 

Now, the weekend rolls around and her group of friends contemplates ordering late night food after a fun night out. What stops them? The repetitive voices in their head “Beware of the freshman 15." So now, she’s not eating when she’s studying and she’s not eating even in a social setting because of stress and a stupid myth? And then they wonder why they’re getting migraines or suddenly dizzy if they stand up too fast or why their hand is shaking when they hold a pencil. I’m not saying that once 3 a.m. rolls around you should order a large pizza and breadsticks and late night binge after you finish your work or after a fun night with friends. What I am saying is, we all need to make time for our schoolwork as well as for our bodies.

P.S. Treating yourself to a large pizza at 3 a.m. now and then won’t kill you.