Marissa Incitti and Erica Maxwell
Features Editor and Features Writer
As college students we are quite concerned about gaining weight while we are away from home. The fear of the freshman 15 or the junior 20 haunts us every year we head to campus. The gym offers us an escape from this, but in return the dining halls around every corner on campus tempt us. We have to try to make time in our busy schedules to hit the gym, but 9 times out of 10 catching up on sleep beats out the gym time. Why is it that we are so concerned with gaining weight at school, and must make it to the gym to make our day seem complete?
“I know that I eat more when I’m at school than I do at home. The stress of classes and being away from my family drives me to late night all the time,” says Erin Briggs, a junior at Millersville. Briggs tries to make it to the gym at least three times a week, even if that means missing class to go.
“I don’t feel complete unless I get that gym time in. I feel like I will end up gaining a ton of weight and no longer be comfortable with myself,” Briggs stated.
The same thought process seems to accompany the men around school as well as the women; Derek Hughes, a senior, says, “The gym makes me feel complete. It has almost become an addiction. Actually, I take that back; it is an addiction.”
The gym is supposed to provide us with an escape from the hustle and bustle of school work. Instead it is becoming another stressor in our lives. It now acts as a way to avoid the fears of being those stereotypical “fat American college students.” Laura Anderson, a student studying in the U.S from Denmark, says, “I was ready to see everyone eating McDonald’s and sitting in big lazy boy chairs.” However, she was pleasantly surprised to find that most students on campus were concerned with making time for the gym as opposed to making time to eat.
College students often have to change their eating habits to fit their hectic class schedules, meaning that sometimes we are forced to eat when we are not hungry. This is not a good habit.
Additionally, students end up missing classes because we are too exhausted to sit in a lecture, or we end up overeating because we have to make it to class on time.
To avoid that vicious cycle, students can start making conscious decisions of what they grab for meals on the go. Skip the chips and substitute fruit or yogurt. Soup and salads are great on-the-go lunches and even a slice of pizza can be healthy every now and then. If you are grabbing a sandwich or making a hoagie, load it with vegetables and choose meat that will keep you fuller longer like turkey, chicken, and tuna. All three are lean meats, making them great choices anytime.
Instead of trying to ride the bus to your class, walk. Leaving a couple minutes early will help you get in the exercise you need. If you feel like you need a tougher workout, run or jog to class. Getting your friends involved will help you stick to a regular diet and exercise plan and get the worry of adding extra pounds off your mind.