The Freshman Fifteen refers to the fifteen pounds that the average freshman gains during his or her first year of college. When breakfast, lunch and dinner are buffet style, some students add on a layer of fat to prepare themselves for the near future when they'll have to move out of the dorms and cook for themselves. At schools with higher standards of cuisine, they tend to refer to the "Freshman Twenty." The freshman fifteen can also be attributed not only to the buffet style dining, but also the increased alcohol consumption by many freshmen and a lack of dietary supervision.

Davis isn't exactly the best school for gaining weight, what with all the biking freshman are forced to undergo (or, if you prefer, walking). If you have really bad luck, your classes could be spread out all over campus and you end up having to travel miles on a daily basis to get to class. Some remote parts of campus can take a while to reach even on a bike. There are also many ways to exercise, should you not like the larger you. Also, Health Education and Promotion and Nutrition 10 can help you learn how to eat properly.

The Freshman Fifteen used to be much more of a problem before the Dining Commons stopped the practice of using trays. Back when Freshmen had trays in the Dining Commons, they used to pile on the plates of food. There was a huge amount of overeating and a large amount of waste. You would see people with stacks of plates filled with food as well as multiple cups of drinks on one tray. These days you are limited to carrying only one dish or two. You have to get up and go back if you want to get multiple dishes.

The Freshman Fifteen also has an element of peer pressure. Often Freshmen use meal times as a social gathering. Large groups of people will encourage each other to go to the DC at the same time together. Even if you aren't hungry you feel pressure to go along and socialize. In most cases, you get in line and get food as to not seem out of place and you end up eating more than you intend to.

Is there more of you now?

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2005-01-04 05:39:02   I definitely gained 22 pounds in the first two months, freshman year, but have stayed the same weight ever since. I was actually pretty damn skinny before, and wanted to gain weight. The DC is bad news if you don't, though. —PaulIvanov

2005-01-26 14:54:39   I gained over 15 pounds in my first two quarters here. I lost it all, and then some, the following summer when I had to fend for myself in 720. —RishiTrivedi

2005-01-26 18:28:49   I actually lost weight after moving in as a Freshman, as I frequently found myself forgetting to eat before they closed. This was not helped by the position of my room in the dorms, where exactly no one would walk past it on their way to the Dining Commons. If you come from a home where food is constantly available 24 hours, and you have an odd activity cycle that makes you naturally eat at strange times, it takes some work to remind yourself when to eat DC food. —ScottRitchie

2005-01-26 22:32:53   I thought the food was so disgusting (I found a ladybug in my salad once) and that the Recreation Hall was so great... I ended up getting the Freshman negative eighteen... and have stayed the same weight since. I think part of it was that I never ate the main dishes and stuck with salads, and a lot of times I wouldn't have time to eat before they closed. —AbbyLawson

2005-02-28 03:12:36   I lost around 15 pounds the year I came to Davis. I chalk it up to stealing tons of food from the DC and munching on it instead of going to meals. —HaleyKo

2005-02-28 21:11:49   FRESHMAN 20 !!!! But I was 85 pounds, I needed it. I can shop for big people's clothes now! —JenndelaVega

2005-03-24 17:10:25   For my first two quarters here I've actually lost 2-3 pounds. I've gotten tired of the DC food and have resorted to eating out more often. —PatrickSing

2005-10-03 15:50:26   When I hear people complaining about how some restaurants serve them TOO MUCH food or some meals have too many calories, I just have to shake my head. I have calculated the calories/dollar ratio for all the foods I buy. I use this list to maximize my food dollar. You want to maximize your energy, not minimize it! I don't understand how people can leave food on their plates at restaurants. There are a lot of things I don't understand about people. —SteveDavison

  • Amen!! It seemed like I was the only one always doing calorie/dollar calculations for all my food. —Jevan
  • Steve, what do you usually eat? —JT
    • I'm on the seefood diet. I see food, I eat it. —SteveDavison
    • That's the short answer, the long answer is: What I actually eat and what I would like to eat are completely different, alas. If money were no object, I would be vegetarian to start with. I think organic is the way to go (but for different reasons than most people believe). I would optimize for nutrition instead of calories (though calories are still important). My philosophy is that it's not how much you eat, it's what you eat. The body has certain requirements that manifest in unconscious ways. In other words, if you are deficient in a nutrient, it will have you eat much more food just to get it. I shop almost exclusively at the Davis Food Co-op. The less processed the food, the better -processing seldom adds nutrients, it's for cosmetic/manufacturing/marketing reasons. Everything that you eat which is not a nutrient is a waste product which the body must expel. BTW, I'm a skinny guy, at 128lbs. —SteveDavison
  • Right on! Walker's Shortbread is so good, 1400 Cal/box ($3? $5?)! Mmmm, so much butter (half of the calories in the cookie from fat), and carbohydrates too. Lipids and carbohydrates are half of the real four food groups after all. There is so much propaganda now about how high calorie food is unhealthy and it is like saying it is better for you car if you put less gas in. The real problem is people not getting off their ass. Walk or ride a bike to work, the library, even the buffet restaurant, and experience the world instead of going to a gym for exercise like it is another job! -NickSchmalenberger
  • Well, really, the less gas you have in a car the lighter it is, so it gets better gas mileage. —BradBenedict

2006-01-12 20:55:02   I was once a poor little skinny girl who couldn't donate blood. Now I'm still a poor little skinny girl who can't donate blood, but now I'm up to triple digits in weight! Thank you, DC food! —KarinaSummers

2007-04-17 12:15:54   God damn, the Freshman Fifteen? I gained the Freshman F***ing FIFTY. Stupid DC. I blame the fact that the old Segundo DC was so incredibly ugly, it made you eat your feelings. Or something. —MargieHalloran

2007-08-05 21:13:22   I'm an incoming freshman and I eat alot.. I guess all the freshman have the binge-eating >__<... —xcutioners

2008-01-15 05:59:37   i actually stayed the same weight all throughout freshman year

oh, DC, i never appreciated you when i had you... —fredchen

2008-01-15 15:28:48   I found that I pretty much maintained my weight through freshman year. I attribute this to the fact that i would never go to late night (because its a rip off in terms of selection vs. price). Thus, while I ate huge meals I would stay up past 12 without eating after 8. Not eating at night really helps as far as weight loss is concerned. Pretty much if you are going to bed hungry, you will probably lose weight. —MattHh

2008-04-09 13:53:36   These days, I think the "Freshmen Fifty' is more accurate. Is it just me or are freshmen getting fatter each year? I understand these are people that are just starting college and the DCs serve too much food and blah, blah blah-fatcakes. But here's the thing, even if you eat crap all day, you really shouldn't be gaining that much weight. Perhaps you don't lose weight, but you should break even. A lot of people are moving around more while at UC Davis because they are running around all day going to class, taking care of errands, etc. My first year, I would have class in Social Sci 1100 and then have to jam to Chem 194 and then back across campus to make my class in Hunt. Then I would walk to lunch and then go back to find an open computer in one of the labs. And a lot of people had similar schedules. I'm sure that's why I dropped a ton of weight my first year (and all I ate was crap. A lot of crap). —CurlyGirl26

  • I don't think the drinking helps. For a lot of students, this is the first introduction to alcohol, or at least having greater access to it, plus peer pressure to drink more than you can handle, and the excess turns to fat. —ElleWeber