Art by Peau Porotesano
Once again, the new school year is off and running. However, with all the big changes, many new students are left wondering if they should be the ones running. As late-night HAWC snacks, Caf food and Netflix binges become commonplace, the looming Freshman 15 is a serious concern. Even the infamous Web MD confirms that one in four students gains 10 pounds in his or her first semester.
Although it’s not likely that the Pepperdine landscape will compensate for every dietary mishap from freshman year, there’s no doubt that the stairs provide more exercise than the standard university campus. According to Livestrong, the average person burns about 30 calories in just 3 minutes of stair climbing.Considering the incredible amount of stairs on Pepperdine’s campus, this is great news for those looking to maximize their healthy habits. Even the .44-mile distance a student may walk from Rho parking lot to the Caf is a helpful way to be active.
With the temptation of HAWC ice cream sandwiches, always-available pizza and assortment of candy accessible with the swipe of an ID card, it’s no wonder that students struggle to maintain healthy eating habits during freshman year.
“I think the Freshman 15 is definitely something at Pepperdine,” senior Elizabeth Chapman said. “I gained weight coming in freshman year just because the food in the Caf is really unhealthy compared to what I ate at home.”
Other students are more confident. Freshman Adam Boehrer said there are “way too many stairs to gain 15 pounds.”
No matter the level of concern, coming to college isn’t an automatic condemnation of personal health. There are ways to beat the feared 15 pounds. Don’t let Nutella reign supreme! Next time, hit up Nature’s Edge instead of browsing the candy aisle at the HAWC, or swap that midnight meal for something fresh. If possible, cook meals with someone lucky enough to have a kitchen in his or her dorm or apartment. Also, remember that our campus is a huge asset. Feel free to embrace the Pepperdine stairs as a workout.
Weight gain, however, is not just a concern for new students. Junior Danvi Bui explained that her concerns came not with the move to Pepperdine but with the move to London.
“You go abroad, and that’s when it hits you,” Bui said. “It’s the scariest part, because you come home after sophomore year and you’ve gained 15 pounds.”
As sophomore students embark on their world adventures this week, it is beneficial to keep their health in mind. However, it’s worth mentioning that counting calories while on the adventure of a lifetime is hardly fun. Thinking fit is smart, but don’t let it dictate the experience. With moderation, students traveling internationally don’t have to forgo cultural exploration in favor of health foods.
When in college, one of the most difficult things to manage is this dreaded weight gain. Along with roommate horror stories and getting lost looking for classes, freshmen arrive wary of hitting the scales. Pepperdine can be especially intimidating. Somehow, it seems that a majority of students look as if they belong on a volleyball court or gracing the cover of a magazine. Even more intimidating is the fact that everyone at Pepperdine seems to have incredible calves.
Fear not — for this, students have the stairs to thank. However, all in all, everyone is in the same boat. Don’t lose too much sleep over the constant warnings about college weight gain.
There are incredible health resources available. From calorie-counting apps to on-campus fitness classes, each student can find a balance which suits his or her needs. Many students are able to establish a rhythm where they work health into their daily schedule!
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