No matter where you go to college, there will be discussion of the so-called "Freshman 15." Referring to the added weight students gain in the first year of university, the Freshman 15 is supposedly caused by the stress, lack of sleep, and constant supply of food (and alcohol) you experience during college. 

Entering my freshman year of college, I was terrified about the Freshman 15. I wish that someone had told me to stop believing in it, and I am here to impart that message (a year and a half late) with some reasons why. 

There is No Medical Basis for It

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The Freshman 15 is not a scientific concept. It was introduced by Seventeen Magazine in 1989, and this snappy name did more to sell magazines than spread truth. According to the National Institute of Health, the average freshman only gains 2.7 pounds in their first year of college, and 15% of students lose weight. In addition, we as college students are still going through development, so we probably should still be gaining weight (with or without college)

It Prevents You From Fully Enjoying College

Would you rather be bonding with your friends while drunk eating quesadillas or hitting the gym on Saturday nights? Obviously the former, but the fear of the Freshman 15 might sway your decision. There is so much more to life than a few pounds, but believing in the Freshman 15 gives those pounds so much power in your life. Focus more on experiences and memories, and your weight will fall where it does. 

The Danger of the Reverse: The Negative Freshman 15

Let's face it: transitioning to college is hard. The stress of meeting new people, taking college classes, and moving into a new environment can trigger an emotional response. Compounding this stress with constant talk and fear of weight gain may result in an eating disorder. Many people have turned the so-called Freshman 15 into the Freshman Negative 15

When someone brings up the Freshman 15, please remember that, 1) it isn't real, and 2) it shouldn't define your first year experience. You are worth far more than the weight you gain, lose, or maintain in college.