Freshman 15: Ways to stay healthy this semester


Ky McCombe

Tyler Wiley forcefully raises his arms while lifting weights inside the Williams Center.

Felicity Knabenbauer, Lifestyle Editor

Summer is coming to an end and with it, an influx of college students entering their first year on the campus. Most, if not all, of the freshmen arriving will have a meal plan that allows them to use the dining hall facilities along with many other of the campus’s restaurants. For some, this new sense of freedom with food is exhilarating and for others, this could bring on the dread of the “Freshman 15.” The Freshman 15 refers to the popular belief that students will gain fifteen pounds by the end of their freshman year. Although this has been deciphered as just a blown-over myth, it doesn’t mean we can’t try our best to stay healthy and active while here on campus. 

One of the most important things to remember is not to skip meals! Although it may be hard to find time to go to the dining halls before an eight am class, there are always options to keep yourself fueled and ready to go for the day. If you wake up late with minutes to spare, grab yourself some ready-to-go food. Examples being a yogurt or a fruit cup, granola bars, or simply the apple or banana you took back from the dining halls the night before. If you have more time on your hands don’t be afraid to go out and enjoy breakfast at one of the many restaurants around campus. A favorite of many is Einstein Bagel Bros. located in James R. Conner University center. If you are someone who enjoys Starbucks coffee in the morning, then you may end up at Deloitte Café located in Hyland Hall. Along with their delicious coffees, teas, and specialty drinks you’ll find a variety of grab-and-go meals including salads, sandwiches, and snacks.

“As you get older it becomes more challenging to lose weight because your metabolism slows down,” said UW-W dietitian Racheal Omdoll. “As we know if your body is not getting enough nutrients, especially with being a busy college student and you’re eating too much fried food or too much bread it can really bog you down mentally, make you extremely tired and exhausted. Eating fruits and vegetables and being more focused on what is being put in your body is really important.”

So if you plan on spending most of your time in the dining halls, maybe keep your eyes off of the buffet-style pasta and pizza and look toward areas such as the A-Zone. The A-zone is an area specifically designed with allergies in mind, however, it is also an area where you can find many low-calorie dishes to partake. Pair that with a salad and your favorite drink and you have a nutrition-dense meal to keep you and your body happy and healthy! If salads are your go-to meal you can find an arrangement of salads at Erbert and Gerbert’s, salad bars at the dining halls or at the University Center. Another health-focused meal could include a veggie stir fry. For this option, go on over to the station and fry yourself up some rice with veggies, mixed in with your favorite sauce. There are so many healthy and hearty meals to be found and devoured here on campus!

Although at times you may feel discouraged by your own mental and physical fatigue and simply wish to chuck a cup of ramen in the microwave and call it a night, it’s suggested not to make this a daily habit. Especially when your goal is to not only keep your body healthy, but your mind as well.

Physical activity can help with not only maintaining or improving ones health and appearance, but also boosting that brain power as well. Working out can give you a mental break to think things over while you sweat out some stress. Utilizing the Williams Center weight room, swimming pool, checkout equipment and Kachel Fieldhouse track can all do their part in helping you to keep that body -ody -ody right and tight.

“College is the perfect time to start defining the type of adult you want to be – not only in academics, but in other areas too like your health and fitness,” said Communication Associate Professor Keith Zukas. “I started working out at the university gym when I was in college, and it really helped me develop some good lifelong habits that have stuck with me.”

And at UW-W there are even more opportunities around campus to stay active outside. Look closer and you’ll find a basketball court tucked over here, a volleyball court over there, tennis courts, jogging trails and even a frisbee golf course. Don’t forget about the intramurals, club sports and Intercollegiate Athletics. You really couldn’t ask for more ways to stay active on a college campus. Just don’t forget that all the hard training only pays off when paired with eating (and drinking) right.

Many campus restaurants have menu limitations if you are using a meal plan. Check this website out for more information on where to eat on campus: you have any particular goals you would like to make with your diet – be it with allergies or otherwise – can contact UW-W’s dietician Racheal Omdoll at or 262-472-1357. 

So lettuce remember, that while we don’t need to eat healthy olive the thyme, we should do our best to eat berry healthy most of the thyme!