Fearing the Freshman Fifteen

Hi, I’m Ilanna and my blog is all about getting my mind and body healthy while going through college.

Before I came to Rider University, I was of course nervous about all the normal things an upcoming freshman would be nervous about: Would I make friends? Would I be able to pass my classes? Would my roommate and I get along? However, the one worry that truly plagued my mind was: Would I gain the ‘freshman fifteen?’ The freshman fifteen is the theory of gaining around 15 pounds during your first year of college.

To many, having that has the number one fear would be seen as ridiculous, but I’ve always struggled with my weight. From elementary school through high school, I had an intense love for food and an even more intense hatred for exercise. You can only imagine how that combination worked out for me (surprise: it didn’t). I just tended to weigh more and get stuck in a string of unhealthy habits. Since college was rumored to do that to a person, too, I couldn’t get the fear out of my mind.

I tried during high school to get myself on track with eating and sleeping better, working out more, stressing less, etc. but I always fell off the wagon, especially the summer before college/during my first semester at Rider.

I honestly think I did gain some unwanted weight from September 2013 – January 2014, but when I came back for the second semester, something clicked and I started working harder than I ever have before to get healthier and feel better. And it worked (and is still working). I wound up losing weight that semester, but I gained happiness and knowledge on how to be fit in college (because I promise, it is very possible). I want people to believe that being healthier in college isn’t a pipe dream, because as a senior in high school, I 100% thought it was and I’m sure others do, too.

But this isn’t just for college students; no matter where you are in your life, health is still an obtainable goal. I don’t know all the answers and am still learning a lot on my journey. I also am definitely not where I want to be yet. But what I do know for sure is that I’m very far from where I used to be and that’s what matters.

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Sophomore year of high school (’10)


Sophomore year of college (’15)

Check out my ‘About’ page for more about me!


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