Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Fear of the Freshman 15

Before I had started my first semester of college, I already heard my fair share of weight gain horror stories. The recent alumni of my high school came back for occasional visits, and it was clear that they had packed on the pounds. However, as my senior year of high school drew to a close, I thought I was going to be invincible to the Freshman 15.

How silly of me.

I had resolved to join the tennis club at Temple and even hit the gym several times a week (high physical aspirations, I know). Of course, the stressful frenzy of transitioning from high school to college pretty much ruined those goals. I was suddenly swamped with required readings and essays.

I’m a stress-eater, so oftentimes I found myself sitting up late at night, highlighters and pens gripped in one hand with a bag of chips or cookies in the other. For me, I felt like I was escaping a little bit every time something tasted good. Unfortunately, my emotions are strongly tied to food, and they still are, but I’m working on it now. I no longer feel immensely guilty after a mini snack binge because they’re not as often as they used to be.

It also didn’t help that my only daily exercise was running across campus if I was late for class or to catch a train. During that time, however, I felt like an athlete for running up to the fourth floor without getting any cramps (high-school-me would’ve been so ashamed).

By the end of the fall semester, I had gained around seventeen pounds. It wasn’t even the end of my freshman year! The overachiever in me had definitely zeroed in on the wrong goal.

My clothes didn’t fit the same anymore, and while I had gotten some curves, I’d gained a squishy belly and plumper arms. Well, I just got plumper and squishier everywhere, which was a huge blow to my ego since I was pretty skinny in high school. I felt like I was thirteen years old again, chubby and awkward in clothes that were too small. Let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling.

I’d also noticed how my energy levels were always low; I was sluggish at best. After being fit and healthy all during high school, this sudden (or maybe not so sudden) change was shocking.

Things finally slowed down at the start of winter break. I decided to take my health into my own hands. I signed up for a gym membership and went regularly. I began to drop junk food and fill up on water more. I also paid more attention to what I ate, especially if I was busy or stressed. I was so used to grabbing a chocolate bar or a huge bag of chips to wolf down if I was short on time (not to mention the awesome taste would temporarily take my mind off of the million things on my to-do list). It took some time to realize that consciously putting healthy things in my body made a difference.

Now, I’m not exactly back to my high school weight, but I do feel better. I go to the gym weekly, drink plenty of water, and try to incorporate tons of veggies into my meals. Occasionally, I’ll treat myself because my eternal love for food will never die.

As a result, I’m determined to get my lifestyle on a healthier track by the end of this semester so I can feel more comfortable in my own skin.

Junior studying journalism at Temple University
Similar Reads👯‍♀️