Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Angelica Martini (Central High School)
With an extensive workload and planning time for friends, it is far from easy for a college freshman to maintain a healthy diet.
Applicable in the sense that an opened take-out box often sits their to your “intro to philosophy” textbook.
The “Freshman 15” is a theory that within the first year of college each student gains an average of 15 pounds. In accordance to these speculations, many colleges are pulling in students with widening alternatives to junk food on campus.
For the health conscious the “Freshman 15” can be one of the biggest fears for a first year student. Felipe Olvera, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, said, “Before going to college I was afraid of the so-called “Freshman 15”, but if you think about it, it’s really up to yourself if you gain it or not.”
Evidence of the “Freshman 15” can be seen in student housing with empty pizza boxes and cookies, but Olvera pointed out that sometimes not eating enough food can be as detrimental.
“I’m going to be honest here,” she said. “In my first couple of weeks of being at college all I ate was salads. Though as time went on I realized that I could not survive off of just spinach and lettuce.”
This kinesiology major revealed that once he figured out the root of his problem, he was able to seek help through academic coaches at his university. These coaches put Olvera on track by designing a schedule of when to study, when to eat and mapping his personal flexibility.
He also emphasized the fact that being aware of what is available to you will keep you self-motivated to explore a wide range of what your campus has to offer, along with getting exercise in the process.
“At my university we have little markets called “POD Markets”, Olvera said. “Inside these stores, students are able to buy snacks, sandwiches, yogurt etc. If you want to live healthy lifestyle you have to just keep looking for a better option.”
Like Olvera, Samantha Talarico is a former varsity athlete at Central High School. She is now a sophomore majoring in forensic anthropology at the University of Memphis. Talarico talked about how she was able to survive the dreadful “Freshman 15” while still having fun with her friends.
“My first year I didn’t have an issue with my weight,” Talarico said. “I went to the gym during the afternoons and didn’t lay around all day. “Not to mention I walked miles on campus carrying around books or whatever else I needed.”
Although she was not hampered by it, the Memphis student remembered a time in which she was in a fast food daze.
“Yeah, I did eat some not so healthy stuff because it was the first time in my life I could since I wasn’t in athletics anymore, so my diet did get a little messy but I cleaned it up once I got tired of eating greasy, fried food,” Talarico said.
Both Olvera and Talarico offer actionable advice for any rising college freshman. Whether it is eating breakfast to relay your hunger or keeping healthy snacks in your dorm, beating the “Freshman 15” is possible.
“Embrace the college experience and make good life choices,” Olvera said.