The Freshman 15 is neither unavoidable nor an urban legend. A number of things will happen to you this year and one of them might be gaining 15 pounds. As we enter university our metabolisms slow down, we may be exercising less and we often are relying on the dining hall to keep us fed. Usually there’s a higher amount of alcohol in our diet — changes that can cause us to gain weight without even realizing it.

“AVOID RES FOOD. No, but seriously, having a lot of the treats at the res cafeterias can lead to that freshman 15 really quick. Opt for some of the healthier options and look at the different cafeterias at different residences. Some exercise never hurts as well (but if you’re like me, it’s gonna be hard to get that lazy ass to run once in a while).”

— Ervin Wong

The most important thing is balancing your diet and portions. Listen to your body when you feel full and make sure you’re packing protein and fibre in every meal to stay satisfied for longer. Having healthy snacks (like hummus and pita chips) around for studying and limiting alcohol consumption can also have a huge impact on your health during university.

If you are feeling heavier than you would like, thankfully UBC is basically bursting at the seams with opportunities to get your body moving. UBC Rec runs both team sports and group classes year round.

If organized sports aren’t your thing, there are over a hundred AMS club that can get your body moving, from boxing and quidditch to sky-diving and underwater hockey.

And if you do leave your first year a pound or ten heavier, also know that that’s not the end of the world either.

“I cannot stress this enough. DON’T STRESS EAT. It can be so easy to just reach for that bag of chips when you have a deadline on that paper, but for the love of god, buy some grapes or something. At least then you’re getting in your fruit for the day while you suffer. Trust me, your waistline will thank you for the investment.”

— Nina Payne