The Freshman 15

As defined in the honorary Urban Dictionary, the Freshman 15 is “when a first year college student (usually a female) eats a ton, and proceeds to sit on her ass and gain fifteen pounds.”

I actually laughed out loud at this, not only because of the straightforward, awful description this man-child gave to a term that was made by even more pathetic man-children, but the fact that Cole (the author of this online definition) felt the need to emphasize that the Freshman 15 is deliberately more common among us women.

As someone who did not gain the Freshman 15 only due to the fact I lived a mile and a half away from every class, usually missed every meal time due to naps and spent the majority of my money at Target or Evil by the Needle, I am actually baffled that numerous college women went home for the summer thinking that they gained the frowned upon, forbidden Freshman 15.

First of all, Cole, I am a first hand witness that the Freshman 15 does not happen more commonly in women. You just weren’t really focused on the 760 calories you consumed that one Wednesday night after finishing your twelve Natty Lights, laughing with your Sigma Apple Pi brothers and drunkenly submitting definitions to Urban Dictionary. Second of all, beautiful women who think that gaining fifteen, or ten, or two thousand is the end of your life, you are wrong.

What I think Cole meant to define the Freshman 15 as is the fifteen slices of happiness that come in a large box of Pizza X cheesy bread, the fifteen minutes you sit at your desk debating whether or not going to the final that is worth fifteen percent of your grade is worth it, the fifteen people you fit into the Uber in February before pledge rides and the freshman year that felt like it went by in fifteen seconds. So you didn’t go to the gym once second semester and maybe you didn’t acknowledge a vegetables existence either, but how many lifelong memories did you make with people who know and love your worth without even considering your physical appearance? More than fifteen, I bet. You learned how to live more than fifteen miles away from your mom, you learned that you can rotate through fifteen shirts for nine months without anyone noticing (or they just are kind enough not to mention it) and you learned that fifteen credit hours means you need at least twelve fifteen minute naps per day.

The Freshman 15 is not something that should be dreaded, it is not something that should even be focused on. Maybe your body needed to gain those five, ten or fifteen pounds, maybe you feel like a healthier, happier person with your body changes and maybe, you did not gain a pound, but it does not matter. College is not about your weight, your physical appearance or others’ opinions of you, college is about finding yourself, finding your people and finding what you love to do. People like Cole are exactly what is wrong with this generation and thinking that us women have some kind of criteria, some kind of image to meet or to fit in with, but we do not have to make anyone happy but ourselves. Fall in love with who you are becoming, appreciate the people who are by your side and enjoy every single moment of college, of summer in your hot-ass bikini and of living life the way you choose to do so.

So order the large cheesy bread (with extra ranch), tell yourself “whatever, I’m getting cheese fries” and remember that, Cole is somewhere out there Snapchatting his Bud Light tall boy while trying to regain the attention of that one girl, from that one night at Office Hoes and CEO’s who has his name saved in her phone as “Chad – DO NOT RESPOND”.

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