New students deal with ‘freshman 15′

By Jen Bland

As if freshmen don’t have enough to worry about, the fear of the dreaded “freshman 15” can also be added to the list.

For those who have never heard of the expression, it refers to the extra 15 pounds most students traditionally gain once they get to college.

But the problem has been examined extensively in the last couple of years and NIU administrators are trying to accommodate students as well as they can.

Director of the University Health Service Rosemary Lane said the extra weight gain can be attributed to a number of reasons. “Maybe it’s the change of being away from home and changing lifestyle,” she said.

Adding to the adjusting period Lane said is the meal plans NIU residence halls offer. Director of University Food Services Ralph Chaplan pointed out the many choices students face at meal times.

“For one thing you can help yourself to as much food as you want in the cafeteria,” he said.

But there is some help for students living in the residence halls who are concerned about their weight.

The cafeteria offers two options. Students can either look at the nutritional guides posted on cafeteria bulletin boards or they can request a guide from one of the ID checkers.

Chaplan also said in addition to checking the nutritional guides, students should watch their level of exercise and stay away from impulse eating.

But some freshmen students have their own ideas of how to battle the bulge.

Carolyn Sexton said she is not worried about the “freshman 15” because she has a high metabolism and gets a lot of exercise from walking to her classes, since she doesn’t have a car.

“Keep active by going to the rec center, exercising, and walk to your classes at a fast rate,” Sexton said. “But also watch what you eat.”

Skip Hogberg said he plans to take her advice and spend some extra time in the rec center. “I’m not worried about gaining weight because I work out regularly,” he said.

However, some students are not as confident. John Feucht admits he is worried. “I like to be trim. I don’t want to gain weight,” he said.

Feucht said he advises his fellow freshmen not to take busses to class and watch what they eat.