Friday, May 6, 2016

GUEST POST: The Real Deal about "Freshman Fifteen"

When one of my absolute favorite former students/little sister types graduated and packed up for BR, I hoped and prayed we wouldn't lose touch. Thankfully, we are still super close and I am always thrilled to hear from her. 
She proposed the idea of a guest post during the finals week season, and of course I was on board in a heartbeat. What better way to avoid studying than to write a guest blog post about the struggles of being a college student? And since I condone procrastination of ANY kind, I told her to go for it. 
Additionally, I know so many of my former baby students who are coming to the end of their freshman year who will appreciate her honest analysis of the freshman experience.
So here you have it, ladies and gents. My dearest girl, Mary Clare. Or as Rascal calls her, Merrily Clare. ENJOY!

Merrily Clare to the right, to the right
Louisiana State University. The flagship school of the state, where stately oaks and broad magnolias shade inspiring halls. My heart swells at the thought of my school, and swells at the thought of my freshman experience. 

That being said, there are some things that my heart does not swell when I think about, like the fifteen or so pounds that I seem to have accumulated while enjoying my time here. 

A little backstory on me; I have been on the larger side of life basically since birth. Clocking in at a solid 5’10”, my body just was not made to appear petite and waif-like and that is something that I have learned to accept. In high school I danced ballet and it was my pride and joy. When I gave that up, I learned to enjoy other things like yoga and even sometimes running (shocking I know). I considered myself to be pretty health conscious, and by health conscious I mean NOT ending up at the McDonald's drive through EVERY day like a certain best friend of mine. I mean heck, I did yoga and drank green tea before bed every night. I was zen and shit. I definitely had a foundation of healthy habits, which in itself was a struggle to maintain on the daily but I was managing at a relatively healthy weight. 

Flash forward: your girl has graduated high school and is ready to take on LSU. I aspired to just take it all in: Greek life, living on campus, and of course continue my record of academic perfection (LOL) all the while balancing a healthy lifestyle. At the start of the fall semester I had already written the UREC classes I planned to attend on the regular in my planner. I was going to opt for the healthy alternatives in my meal plan (again LOL). 

The first few weeks of school were a blur. A blur full of screaming sorority girls, buying 200 dollar textbooks that nobody told me I actually DIDN’T need, getting acclimated to my 2 cubic feet of space in Miller Mansion and trying to figure the whole college thing out. I soon learned that my meal plan was a little more limited than my tour guide led me to believe (still a little salty honestly). The UREC classes were nothing like what I was used to and soon my exercise habits bit the dust. And it was only syllabus week. 

Soon comes ACTUAL school where my scheduled mealtimes went out the window as I found myself struggling to keep up. In between juggling Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, making new friends in my sorority, and getting involved on campus my daily salad becomes Chic Fil A bought in the union and scarfed down before I go to my 3 hour Bio Lab (a special kind of torture that earns friend food). Add in going out for T-shirt night (those vodka cranberries aren’t calorie free honey) and Outtakes trips in between study breaks and boy was I going downhill fast. Freshman Fifteen happened really quickly. I kissed my healthy lifestyle goodbye without a second thought. 

Now freshman year is drawing to a close, and see all the different reactions to everyone’s “Freshman Fifteen.” It happens to the best of us. I even know how mine happened. I let it. I find myself looking back on pictures thinking “Damn, I let myself go.” But then I pause and think yeah, I did let go a little and maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. I look back on this year and it’s obvious what I have gained. I have gained 300 + sisters who have already made a huge impact on my life already. I gained 31 credit hours and PASSED them all. I gained two best friends who I know will be bridesmaids in my weddings and my children’s favorite aunts.

 I don’t see the weight at all, I see happiness. I don’t regret the late night slice of pizza that led to a conversation that helped me get to know someone better, or the ice cream date I went on with a cute boy. It was all part of my freshman year. So to any of you ladies and gents who are feeling a little down on their luck because you’re not as slim as you used to be, I encourage you to take a step back and look at what you have gained, and know that sometimes it’s okay to let go. Regarding the Freshman Fifteen I am not embarrassed but determined. Determined to find a way to have fun and be healthy. So I needed a little time to figure that out, so what ¯\_()_/¯

Presently Free,
Mary Clare