Weight gain cannot be applied to the population of college freshman because each student is responsible for prioritizing their physical health.
The phrase “Freshman Fifteen” is a stereotypical term for the 15-pound weight gain of a college freshman over the course of their first year.
Some may speculate that students who commute have a different experience staying in shape in college than a student who went to a four-year university.
Student Nicholas Willis began studying physical fitness at the University of Toledo then transferred to MCCC.
“While there in a University environment, from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep was school,” he said. “The stress of competing your intelligence really gets to you, so you tend to lose focus of your physical health.”
“Ever since I made the decision to commute to MCCC, I have a more overall focus on my life and health.”
Another difference between commuting and living on campus may be student involvement on campus.
University students may become submerged in their environment and lose sight of their self as an individual. This leads to them identifying with their school rather than their person.
When students commute, they are not inundated by the campus lifestyle. The college is not the center of their world. They go home and get a break from campus perspective.
Their lifestyle remains the same.
According to The Journal of American College Health, 50 percent of college students gain weight during the school year.
There are multiple explanations for weight gain.
College students enjoy endless freedom, but with freedom comes physical, mental, and academic responsibility.
Students’ values and priorities are put to the test. They no longer have anyone telling them what to do. They have to create their own schedule.
“For me, the hardest part was realizing I had to create a schedule to keep the same gym going life style I had in high school,” said Freshman Zachary Hodges. “It’s hard.”
Students are busy.
A tight budget and limited time are two reasons about half of freshmen gain weight.
A majority of students juggle a full-time school schedule while working a full or part-time job. Students must master the art of using every hour productively to finish a day’s work.
It does not matter whether students commute or live on campus; time management is crucial to success academically and physically.
Stress is a leading cause of excessive weight gain. If students can balance their busy schedules, they can cut down on the number of stressful days in the semester.
It is necessary to find a balance between school and physical activity.
One way students can continue their physical pursuits is by using the facilities the college provides.
MCCC has a fitness center and gymnasium in building H. The college also offers various athletic clubs available to all students.
This year the college started a Volleyball Club. The club meets on Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Thursdays, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Student Grace Stewart said staying healthy came naturally. She started gymnastics at two years old.
“Because I have been so involved since such a young age, being able to maintain my healthy life style was priority and definitely a reason I chose this route of education,” she said.
There are many factors to health in college, and everyone has a different experience.
Therefore, the “Freshman Fifteen” should not be a generalization. The decision to lead a healthy lifestyle is ultimately up to the priorities of the student.