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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

The first time I walked into a gym, let alone my COLLEGE gym I almost peed my pants. It is crazy intimidating to go into something so unfamiliar with a bunch of sweaty, college men all around you trying to lift heavier weights than each other.

Being able to go to your gym without being scared and intimidated is important and women should not have to feel like they are not allowed to use the gym on campus when they want. Over the summer I went to the Droney Fit & Wellness gym, and it was a great gym with lots of space, open machines, and a calm atmosphere.

I will be honest; the college gym is NOTHING like this. When I stepped into the Richter Center’s gym on the St. Bonaventure University campus, I truly did not know that many people could fit into one tiny space and still be able to work out with confidence, especially when I saw only one other girl there at the time.

There are ways to overcome these obstacles and ways to cope because as a broke college student, I would rather cope than pay for a 30-dollar gym membership every month.

  1. Figure out what you want to work on AFTER you are already at the gym  

I have noticed that if I plan what I want to focus on, whether that be my legs, chest, upper body, etc. it never works in my favor. Typically, when I plan to target something specific I end up getting to the on-campus gym and all the machines and weights I need are being used. Unfortunately, the reality is you will not be getting those weights or squat racks or bench presses for the rest of the duration you are there. 

  1.  Timing is Key  

Depending on what times you go to the gym it can get insanely crowded and overpacked. I will be honest by saying I personally do not want to be surrounded and crammed in with a bunch of college guys who smell of B.O., but who am I to judge the girls who do? If you are like me though, you need to plan out your schedule and know what times the gym is the busiest and when it is not as crowded. Later times on the weekends are when I find it to be the least crowded.

  1. Headphones are your best friend  

I always make it a point to bring my headphones with me when I go to the gym, especially if I am going alone. Not only do my headphones make it look like I know what I am doing (even when I do not) and make it look like I belong there, but they also are comforting and allow me to zone in and not focus on anyone or anything else around me. Blast your music and focus on your workout!  

  1. Do not push yourself past your limit  

I have been a victim of letting my female masculinity take the best of me. When I see people lifting heavier weights than me, I feel as though I need to up the weight I am using and match other people. If I am lifting less than other people, then maybe others would see me as weak and make fun of me. This is not the case! You need to focus on yourself and only push yourself to beat your own record instead of other people’s. It is important not to push yourself too hard and to work out your body in the right way.  

It is okay to be intimidated by your college gym. Trust, we have all been there and it will get easier the more you go and push yourself to go. We women should be able to go to the gym most accessible to us when we want without feeling like we do not belong there or that we are weaker than the guys in there.

Noella is a member of Her Campus Saint Bonaventure chapter. As a new member she looks forward to focusing on writing about health and fitness in a college student’s life, and how to navigate the world of college while engaging in a healthy mental and physical lifestyle. She also is interested in delving into writing about the experiences of a college transfer student and how to adjust to new college atmospheres, specifically at Saint Bonaventure. Noella is currently a second-year student studying Criminology and Cyber security. She transferred to Saint Bonaventure after her first semester of the first year from Medaille University where she studied Veterinary Technology. Aside from Her Campus, Noella has entered writing pieces for Scholarship awards, and has received the Journey Health System Scholarship for an essay she wrote. She is also an editor for The Laurel, a member of Criminology club, a volunteer for the SBU food pantry, and a member of Psychology club. In her free time, Noella enjoys playing basketball, videogaming, and going to the gym. She loves all things sports and has a passion for working out and staying active. She loves writing fiction stories in her free time and loves to read psychological fiction and mystery books. She also has a love for animals and grew up on a farm taking care of animals on a day-to-day basis.