Newsflash: Everyone Gains Weight in College

“I wear a 26 instead of a 24 in jeans now.”

“My high school cross country uniform doesn’t fit anymore!”

“I got fat.”

Most women gain weight during adulthood. It is normal (i.e. healthy) to gain weight during adulthood.

For many women, anxiety circles around the idea of weight-- where it is, how much of it, how long has it been there, how to lose it…

Stepping into college is as scary-exciting and butterfly-tingly as it is in the movies— parties really do have red solo cups! (Granted, sometimes they’re blue.) You will probably drink a lot of coffee during finals week. You might even hook up in your tiny twin-sized bunk bed…

 

...and you will probably gain the freshman fifteen, too.

 

Entering freshman, I know your hearts may have dropped reading that the freshman fifteen isn’t a myth your mom made up to scare you away from beer. Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but it happens (to most of us.) Sure, a lot of people gain weight from carb-loading in the dining hall, binge eating at night (i.e. Ramen Noodles and Doritos at 2 A.M. after a night out,) lack of exercise, and drinking a fair amount of alcohol (vodka has calories, too). But you’re also freshly eighteen, soon enough you’ll be twenty… and your high school metabolism wasn’t made to last you through adulthood. You’re budding into your adult life, and with that, comes an adult body, too. And that— really hear me on this one— is not a bad thing.

Your body happens to mature when you’re entering college. That involves gaining weight. (Hips, boobs, and booty = weight.)

 

A few extra pounds doesn’t make you unhealthy, and it definitely doesn’t make you unattractive.

 

As a college girl myself, I’ve seen friends, and even acquaintances go from virtually never worrying about food, to exchanging a meal for a coffee. Why? Because they “got so fat in college.” The daunting threat of the freshman fifteen insinuates a negative connotation with female weight gain during adulthood. This, along with the drastic life changes one goes through in college, is an extremely harmful mentality towards body image during a particularly vulnerable time in one’s life. This can deeply affect mental and physical health, self-esteem, and happiness in young women. Rather than living in fear and shame of collegial weight gain, be mindful that your body is maturing. Gaining weight doesn’t mean you’re fat, in fact, it means you’re normal.