Before I came to RPI, many of my parent’s friends would poke fun at the stereotypical weight gain that comes with the of transitioning to college life, otherwise known as the freshman fifteen. While I used to laugh at their japes, I now realize the severity of the situation. The struggle is real, people.
You, see, I used to be ignorant of this. I would go to Commons and be boggled at what some people were throwing on their plate. Burgers, pizza, or grilled cheese for every meal? For some of these people, I could understand the freshman fifteen reality. But then I looked at my plate. Sure, I’d try to go for the healthy options, the sandwiches or other non-grill food, but that doesn’t fill you up, so maybe off to the side I might find some fries or a slice of pizza. While I may not be gaining any noticeable weight now, my whole diet is changing for the worse, a terrible habit when I’m going into a future that allows for absolute freedom of food choice rather than what’s in Commons today. And this problem isn’t limited to me; I’ve seen many people share my new eating patterns.
So, what can we do to stay healthy? Well, instead, of the greasy and fried foods on the side, there’s an open salad bar with many great options. In addition, avoid many of the super-loaded desserts that they offer. A glazed marshmallow and cinnamon toast crunch square? Do you really need to eat that? Remember to eat until you’re satisfied; if you eat until you’re stuffed for every meal, you’re building a bad habit of excessive calorie consumption.
With the diet concerns, remember to stay fit as well. The gyms on campus are free to use, plus there are many sports with pick up games as well as intramural teams, though you’ll have to wait until spring to take a part in those activities.
Finally, remember to maintain good health. Like the freshman fifteen, freshman flu is real, so watch out next fall and post-winter break; sickness is coming and it’s easy to prevent. Washing your hands or using any of the Purell dispensers around campus, as well as avoiding contact with people who show symptoms or are sick are very easy ways to stay flu-free.
Remember, the things you learn at college stay with you the rest of your life, so teach yourself how to live healthy. In the words of the great rapper Drake, “You only live once.”