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Fighting the Freshman 15: How to Deal with Body Image in College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Suffolk chapter.



The freshman 15 is a concept that many individuals fear going into their first year of college. The best ways to avoid this quick weight gain is to try and maintain a healthy diet and avoid eating instant Ramen or mac and cheese everyday. (I know it’s hard, it’s so quick, tasty and easy!) It’s also probably a good idea to kick that soda or energy drink addiction. While it is totally okay to eat less healthy and fast options occasionally, they shouldn’t be the main basis of your diet. Try something new and you may be surprised! I promise that not ALL of your dining hall options are bad, but if you have the opportunity try to branch out and make some of your own meals! Also, exercise regularly even if it is something as simple as taking a walk every day or going to the gym and walking on a treadmill for just 20 minutes! You don’t need to do anything crazy to avoid gaining this 15, but by trying to be the healthiest version of yourself you’ll not only look better, but feel better too!


Embrace your body!


Everyone has a different natural body type, so be comfortable with the one you’ve got! Spend your time finding cute outfits that fit your style and your body well, and embrace your individuality! Skip the makeup instead of class if you’re running late, and wear those super cute shoes that have been sitting in your closet for months. You don’t need to lose weight or have flawless skin in order to be pretty or to get someone to like you. Plastering your face in copious amounts of makeup won’t solve your breakouts so treat your skin right and give it the proper care and attention it needs to heal. As long as you are healthy, embrace your looks in every aspect of your day! Everyone is beautiful in their own way so stop trying to change yourself to look more like your roommate or the athlete that lives down the hall.


Will I gain a lot of weight if I quit the sport I played in high school?



Quitting a sport is always a difficult decision to make. In high school sports can consume the majority of one’s time every day! Sports also provide a sense of structure in our lives. In college time is a much more sensitive aspect of life, and managing school work can be tough, especially if you add clubs and sports into your week. Many people decide not to continue a sport because of their fear of not being able to keep up with their work or on campus activities, or are simply not interested in the competitive college athletic environment. Naturally your body will change if you stop exercising for hours each day, but you can still maintain the sense of structure that high school sports gave you on your own. Make a schedule for times to go to the gym and stick to it! Plan out your workouts and keep them consistent each week. This will help you keep yourself in a similar shape to what you were as an athlete. Just remember not to over do it!


Don’t be afraid of being judged  



College is an incredibly different environment then high school, and while you may feel as if everyone is judging you for the way you look, they’re probably not! It is not uncommon to show up to morning classes makeup-less and in sweats and a hoodie, especially when the colder seasons roll in. People are even guilty of wearing pajamas to their 8 AMs! There is no reason to look perfect all of the time. Going to class requires so much work mentally, and sometimes the best way to get through the roughest class is to dress comfortably. Don’t feel like you have to be on your fashion A-game every day of the week! Allow yourself to feel comfortable, and work those sweats!