Avoiding the freshman 15 by Sophia Bracken

    By Sophia Bracken

    As you embark on your journey to college, you’ll probably hear horror stories of a friend or relative that gained 30 pounds their first year of college. With late night pizza orders, a coffee addiction so strong you didn’t even know it would be possible, and no parent telling you not to order Chipotle for the 5th time that week, it’s easy to see why so many people gain weight. Here are some tips to survive that first year of college without that proverbial blow up.

    The first thing I suggest is WALK.

    A lot of kids at my school have motorized scooters, but if your campus isn’t that big, a walk from your library to your classroom won’t kill you. I was combating the Florida heat, a very heavy backpack, and the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, but I always walked to class or meetings all the way across campus. You’ll get your cardio in for the day and probably get to catch up with some friends along the way.

    The second thing would have to be, make good decisions about what you’re eating.

    In high school I danced 20-30 hours a week, so I could eat an entire pizza in one sitting and not gain a pound. In college, unless you’re playing a sport, you won’t have the time to have that daily workout that you used to. Starting in the Fall, I promised myself to eat a salad either for lunch or dinner every day. Now that’s not a salad loaded with cheese, ranch, and all the other fattening toppings, but one with carrots, celery, and olive oil and vinegar as your dressing. It doesn’t sound appealing, but it pays off to have at least one healthy meal a day.

    My last piece of advice would be to find the time to workout.

    You may think you have all the time in the world in college, but time does tend to slip away. Have a friend go run stadiums with you or wear your workout clothes to class so you’re ready to go to the gym right after. If you make excuses, you’ll never go. I actually loved running stadiums and then watching either lectures or Netflix in the stands afterwards. It was super peaceful and gave me a chance to get out of the dorm and library.

    Be smart about your lifestyle choices in college but don’t let it stop you from ordering midnight cookies every once in awhile!!

    About the Author: Sophia Bracken is a sophomore at the University of Florida studying biology. She graduated from Ponte Vedra High School in 2015.

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