The Dreaded Phenomenon: The Freshman 15

Dreaded Freshman 15There is a lot to gain from the college experience: friends, knowledge, life skills- and for some, unwanted weight. Adapting to the college lifestyle can be challenging for new students.

The newfound sense of freedom can be both exciting and dangerous when it comes to eating habits and exercise.

 The freshman 15 is a phenomenon that can be a threat to students everywhere; if the proper measures are not taken it can become a reality and affect one’s health in a negative light.

New levels of stress can cause mindless overeating and it can be difficult to find time to work out between classes. Freshmen can be overwhelmed getting used to the college workload, never mind trying to incorporate an exercise regime. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid succumbing to the dreaded weight that can come with life at a university.

Having a healthy diet and steady exercise regime does not have to be for vanity reasons. It is important to treat your body well in order to achieve overall wellness.

Taking care of your health has countless benefits. A healthy diet can make one feel energized and ready to tackle the next task.

The same goes for exercise, a good work out has the ability to elevate your mood and alter your mindset.

Stay Active

Monmouth University has a variety of resources that students can take advantage of right on campus. The Ocean First Bank Center is home to the fitness center that is free to students by simply showing their school I.D.

Tiffany Antonelli, sophomore criminal justice student, gave her input on the topic.

 “ I like to go to the gym in the morning because it sets a positive tone for my day,” Antonelli stated.  Working out earlier in the morning can make students more focused and less likely to skip their work out.

Don’t want to leave the residential side of campus? Are you using that as an excuse to not exercise? Well, don’t you worry.

Students have the luxury of not having to leave that side of campus. The Hawk’s Den Fitness Center, located in Oakwood Hall is easily accessible as well as a fitness lounge in Mullaney Hall.

The campus’s indoor and outdoor track are also available for use. 

In addition to personal training, the fitness center also offers various group fitness classes that students are encouraged to attend.

If the gym just isn’t your thing, there are other opportunities to stay active.

For many students, they may have been part of a sports team in high school that kept them in shape.

Monmouth University offers a multitude of intramural, recreational, and club sports where students can find an activity that they find enjoyable while potentially making new friends and teammates.

Take advantage of the area. Living so close to the beach has its perks. 

The surrounding area has minimal hills, which makes it for easy running. Grab a friend or put in your earphones, go for a walk or jog, walk along the beach. The possibilities are endless.

A Balanced Diet

It can be hard to stay healthy without home cooked meals. The dining hall and student center can be full of temptation, especially on chicken finger Wednesday’s.

With temptation all around, students must practice self-discipline.

While students debate whether there are healthy options available on campus for students with meal plans, it is important to put the right food in your body.

It can be easier to stay healthy by eating with a friend with the same goal in mind.  

By eating balanced meals and snacking healthy throughout the day, you are more likely to make healthier decisions when it comes to food.

Nicole Florze, senior criminal justice student, shares how she stays fit. “Try to avoid skipping meals; when meals are missed, people are more likely to binge later in the day,” Florez mentioned. 

It could also be helpful to keep healthy snacks in your dorm room or kitchen. Eating throughout the day keeps the metabolism going.

When talking to Lita Richards, MSN, APN-C from Monmouth University Health Services, she provided great insight on this topic. Richards stated, “It is important for students to eat a balanced diet because it will lead to prevention of diseases in the future.”

Moving away from the healthy dieting for a second, she continued in saying, “Smoking, vaping, and juuling are essential to your health too because they can affect your lungs and overall health.”

Ultimately, staying healthy can add to your overall wellness.

Moderate exercise and a balanced diet are the simple solutions to avoid college weight gain. 

When choosing to take the initiative to better living, it is important to remember that everyone is different.

 Go at your own pace and try not to compare yourself to others.

What matters most is that you are making an effort to live a healthier lifestyle.

PHOTO TAKEN by Cassandra Capozzi-Smith