By Jaylynn McClendon

One freshmen worry is gaining weight.  Photo by Ashley Fries, The Keystone
One freshmen worry is gaining weight.
Photo by Ashley Fries, The Keystone

One of the most popular pieces of advice given to first year students is to “beware of the freshman 15.” The freshman 15 refers to the weight gain some freshmen experience in college. Though it’s not true that all freshmen gain exactly 15 pounds, weight gain during your first year is fairly common.

Daily nutrition and physical activity are often overlooked while adjusting to the new academic and social life at college. Figuring out how to juggle it all is challenging, but finding out why the freshman 15 happens to some people is a good place to start.

According to, there are a few main reasons why students gain those dreaded 15 pounds: lack of exercise, eating late at night, unhealthy cafeteria food, excessive alcohol intake and unhealthy snacking. If you find yourself doing more than one of those, maybe it’s time for a change. Finding a way to work out and eat healthy are good ways to battle these bad habits.

Creating a schedule that includes exercise is easier than you think. One way to ensure physical activity is having your grade rely on it. Kutztown offers classes that include exercise and provide college credit for the course.

Some classes offered are Aquatic Activities, Personal Fitness and Hatha Yoga. Other options for increased physical activity would be walking to class instead of taking the shuttle and monitoring your daily steps (there’s an app for that). Riding the shuttle bus can be tempting and useful at times, but the walk to class is good exercise and can add over a mile to your daily movement depending on where you’re coming from.

There are also healthier meal options for snacks and dinners. Kutztown has salad bars or pre- made salads at almost every eating location along with healthier snack options like fruit and yogurt. Making a switch to one of these healthier meals a few times a week can make a big difference, and now is the time to do it. The eating and exercise habits you create in college can follow you into the working world.

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