Everyone hears rumors about the legendary freshman 15 prior to attending college. The myth of this curse which supposedly causes college freshmen to gain 15 pounds spans across the country, but is it real? The superstition of this freshman year weight gain is so common that there is a Wikipedia page for it. This weight gain is known to be a result of adjusting to the new environment of college. There are so many choices that students never had to make for themselves in high school regarding food, exercise and sleep, and with so much freedom, many freshmen make choices that are not healthy for their body and well being.
Students at NYU, however, may be more immune to this trend than students at other schools. Through an array of resources, NYU promotes a healthy lifestyle for students. NYU not only has a variety of dining halls but also offers health conscious options at each dining hall. The all-you-can-eat dining halls, Lipton and Downstein, offer different fruit and vegetable options for each meal and have bottomless salad bars. The other dining halls that run on a meal exchange system limit the amount of food you can consume with one swipe but also allow for 100 calorie snacks or desserts or a piece of whole fruit with a single meal exchange. Additionally, the size and span of NYU’s campus is so large that exercise is a mandatory part of every student’s day if they want to get to their classes.
“I feel like the freshman 15 isn’t as big at NYU as other schools,” LS freshman Alex Dennis said. “Even though there is a lot of good food to try, we walk everywhere so it partially makes up for it.”
While many students have found the dining options and lengthy walks beneficial to their health, a handful have found the rumor to be true. One of those students is Gallatin sophomore Lorean Cassidy, who, having come from Australia, credits her weight gain to the portion sizes and abundance of unhealthy food in the United States in general. With a large population of international students, this freshman experience is not rare.
“I literally gained 14 pounds in my first month in America,” Cassidy said.
The freshman 15 can be a reality for students at NYU; however, it is avoidable due to the options that NYU offers, for leading a healthy student lifestyle. Although many of our international students are adjusting to the food in the U.S., NYU does its best to ease this transition. While each student’s experience is unique, as a whole, NYU students may find it easier to escape this fate of weight gain in their first year.
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