College comes with a lot of stress, and being a freshman only adds to it. Living in a dorm, being on a meal plan and constantly being busy are just a few things that make college life so different from being at home. Adjusting to all these changes can take a toll on your eating habits, but here's something that may help: The Freshman 15 does not exist.

Eat what you like, work out when you can and be happy with who you are, without worrying about those sneaky 15 pounds that are supposed to catch up with you.

The Myth

The Freshman 15. You're warned about it before you leave for college. You hear older siblings and friends talking about how they gained so much weight their freshman year. Almost everyone seems to believe that the average college freshman gains 15 pounds. Here's the thing; it's not real. 

The Truth

First of all, 15 pounds is a randomly chosen number. There's no science or reasoning to back it up, and the number actually used to be 10 pounds (which is still wrong).

A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health, looked at college freshmen at a private institution and their weight gain. On average, only 2.7 pounds were gained, and only half of the students studied gained weight, while 15% lost weight. 


The point of this article is not to look negatively at gaining weight. The goal is to hopefully alleviate some stress for incoming or current college students and stop any food habits or exercise behaviors from developing that can be harmful to their body.

Whatever size, weight, or build you are does not matter. Everyone is beautiful, and a number on the scale should not change that for anyone.

Feeling good and being your best self is the important part. Enjoy freshman year and beyond.