April 16, 2012

WELLNESS: Keeping Off the Transfer 15

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The first time I went off to college, there was no meal plan, no Greek life and classes were pretty easy. It was, essentially, an easy way to avoid the Freshman 15: fresh food, little alcohol and plenty of time to get to the gym. Learning to balance was something that I, along with all the other transfer students I know, learned how to do in a different context. In our past lives we worked half as hard for grades twice as good and it was easy, with all that free time, to have a balanced life and a balanced diet.

Fast-forward to life as a transfer student here. Though we have been through a year of college, have lived on our own, and are used to managing our own schedules, we haven’t mastered Cornell’s turf. We are learning, yet again, how to balance college life. When you have already done a year or two of college before, relearning how to start anew and balance everything again is akin to teaching old dog new tricks.

Life at Cornell is difficult. Students here balance clubs, work, a very-present social life, and lots of homework. Especially as a transfer, where you already feel a year behind, if you don’t launch yourself into everything, it’s easy to feel left out.

So, we joke about gaining the “transfer 15” in part because, we are still struggling to figure out how to balance our new, astonishingly large workload with infrequent trips to the gyms and the stress-eating that comes with the necessary late-night study sessions. So far, neither I, nor any of my friends, have gained any weight, but that isn’t because we get to the gym four times a week. Instead, we stock up our plates with veggies, lean protein and whole grains and munch on fruit for snack like Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D., the senior food and nutrition editor at Health, recommends.

Even if it’s a push, try to load up on the veggies, get yourself to the gym three times a week, even if just for fifteen or twenty minutes, snack on fruit during the day, and try (try!) to avoid drinking so much at parties over the weekend. Maybe it won’t keep you as slim as you were at your last school, but it will keep the pounds down. Remember: even old dogs can learn new tricks, we just need that little push.

Sarah Roger is a student in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at scr79@cornell.edu. The Missing Link: Wellness appears on Tuesdays.

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Original Author: Sarah Roger