I’ve been thinking a lot this semester about the prevalence of the words “freshman fifteen” on college campuses. I remember the phrase from my freshman year at Taylor University in 2001, and it seemed to be mentioned no less frequently when I taught at the University of New Hampshire in 2010 and 2011. I still hear it now at my current university.

In some recent conversations about this idea, I remembered something about my time at Taylor. We had a course there called Fit for Life. It was supposed to teach us important skills about health and fitness, but what I remember are record keeping charts for our physical activity, countless fitness tests, weigh ins, BMI analyses, and a lot of other stuff that made me think, “Wow. This is why my peers are developing eating disorders!”

As I work on a post for next week about why I uttered the words, “Don’t buy into the freshman fifteen BULLSHIT!” in one of my classes today, I’d like to seek your input. What do you remember about the way your university addressed the topics of health, wellness, fitness, and weight? Was the freshman fifteen a thing when you were in school, and how do you remember feeling about it? Was it something that caused you a lot of stress, or was it something that you were only peripherally aware of?

I’d appreciate your thoughts as I formulate my own.

Thank you!

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