UM students discuss the Freshmen 15

Connor Paul Heitzmann
The Oxford Eagle

About 70 percent of college students are subjected to experience the “Freshman 15,” according to a recent report by News Health. And seven years in a row, Mississippi has earned the title of being Americas “Fattest State.”

Junior Chandler McKinley believes going to college in Mississippi only adds to the idea that the Freshman 15 is real.

“When I was a freshman, I would find myself always going to get some food,” McKinley said. “I was not even hungry half the time, I was just bored.”

Like a lot of Ole Miss students, McKinley has a meal plan.

“The unlimited meal plan was the way to go freshman year,” McKinley said. “At least that’s what I thought.”

McKinley said he wasn’t the first person to notice he had put on weight.

“I had friends tell me that I was looking bigger,” he said. “I soon realized it was because I was eating, because I did not work out. “Most kids come to college to drink and party. That alone can add to weight gain.”

Since being a freshman, McKinley has corrected his eating habits and said it was a good learning experience for him.

“It felt like I needed a wake up call,” he said. “I now watch what I eat and am able to help other incoming students do so as well.”

Sophomore Hayley Bair said she thinks the Freshmen 15 has a lot to do with your meal plan and nothing to do with going to school in Mississippi.

“I hardly ever overate,” Bair said. “It just happens to some college kids. Being out of the house with probably not a lot of spending money gives you the chance to eat whatever you want.”

IMG_4353Bair also said she “became healthier in college because of her eating habits, but noticed her friends would usually eat whatever whenever.”

“The freshman 15 is 100 percent real,” Bair said. “You just have to have the will power.”

Although Ole Miss does offer some healthy meal options on campus, many options aren’t healthy. Senior Shelby Shelton thinks the food options on campus are setting students up to fail.

“In my first year at Ole Miss, I always found myself at the union,” said Shelton, who said it was hard for her not to eat more than three meals a day. “You have so much free time in college, that lets you just snack on anything and everything.

“I struggled with the Freshman 15 for only a little bit when I was a junior. I think it is a phase all students experience. Some just experience it in their second or third year, rather than their first.”

Unlike most students, Junior Emily Schneider thinks the freshman 15 is not real.

“It just gives people an excuse to eat as much food as they want,” Schneider said. “Personally, it was easy for me not to gain weight while I’ve been in college.”

Schneider said the Freshman 15 has been talked about for so long, students see it as “one of those things that just happens to you in college.”

“It is something straight out of a BuzzFeed post,” Schneider said. “I would have three meals and a small snack throughout the day.”

Living on campus for her first three years, one would think Schneider would be more likely to overeat.

“I know I don’t have a kitchen to cook, but I find other options to keep a healthy diet,” she said. “Students get full access to the Turner Center. There should be no excuse for you to gain weight when you have a gym and weight room not even five minutes from your room.”

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