The Freshman 15… And Other Fairytales

October 19, 2012

Ahh! The famous freshman 15; those notable fifteen pounds a student will gain while entering their first year of post secondary school.  Some of you have probably heard about this terrifying occurrence from older friends or even siblings before ever setting foot in university.  Many of these stories might leave a student to believe that this weight increase is almost an impossible avoidance, just a fact of life like the sun rising or the Blue Jays losing in…well anything.  It seems that whenever talk of purchasing junk food or ordering takeout comes up, the FM15 magically appears in the conversation as if by some miraculous occurrence.  Most notably mentioned is how a first year might be able to ‘avoid’ the occurrence before it gets to them.  Yet as a personal opinion, it must be incredibly difficult to avoid something which doesn’t exist.

For many first years, one of the largest shocks of moving onto residence (or anywhere that isn’t mom’s house) is the irregularity that there’s no set ‘lunch time’ like in high school.  Chances are, you won’t always share meals with all your friends together due to the varying time slots of different courses. It would be rude to speak for everyone, but the concept of three hearty meals a day is simply not routine since university began.  The notion of the freshman 15 is that due to these time constraints, fast food is substituted for the real thing and this is what leads to those gross fifteen pounds everyone fears.  This writer can’t agree stronger to the contrary.


UTSC is a thriving community of activities, which occur all over campus on a daily, if not hourly basis.  Our very own gym offers different workout programs every single day, all days of the week.  In addition to this, we have dozens of sports teams, exercise clubs and even during the night: clubbing events for dancing.  Between walking to and from visiting friends, fighting the crowds around campus, and simply going on walks in the valley, it doesn’t seem possible for anyone to gain weight.  If any fear at all should exist about first year with regards to weight, it should be towards the freshman minus five!  If for some reason this has been a horrible mistake and the freshman 15 does appear to exist, the best advice to be given would be to make friends and meet people.  Whether it’s you dragging them out to events, or vice versa, you will end up being more active, and therefore, dodge the FM15 before it even has a chance to sink in!