Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can I Be Smart Without Getting Fat?

            I’m writing this post at 2:00 am with a bowl of cereal in my lap, coffee to my right, and a half-eaten quesadilla left over from tonight’s dinner to my left. Not to mention the array of coke zeros hiding behind my computer screen. I have decided sleep is for the weak and chosen to forgo this so-called necessity. I have an exam tomorrow morning, paper due Thursday, and calculus homework piling up. To say I’m stressed would be putting this situation lightly. I’m so far past my breaking point that slowly down would mean facing the realization of my workload. Without sleep, eating is the only thing that gives me comfort. As Professor Berridge mentioned in his lecture, stress causes overeating in about 30% of the population. To human’s brains, food becomes a mode of “self-medication”. It sounds better when I say I am self-medicating myself with frosted flakes, not stuffing my face. My stress has made me put on a few pounds this month with my workouts being replaced by history books. This correlation between the two made me wonder; can I not be smart without being fat?

            My freshman fifteen was the effect of late night study sessions rather than beer drinking and pizza house. Professor Berridge’s lecture made me want to investigate statistics among college students at different Universities to see if there was a correlation between weight gain and workload. At Washington University, where “fun goes to die”, a student found that about 70% of students gained a significant amount of weight from the start of college to the end of their sophomore year (Dryden). Even more shocking was a study done at the University of Indiana. According to their study, 76% of female students say they eat under stress versus 33% of male students (Hellmich). I’m not alone! It sounds as if am predisposed to this illness.
            I am not obese at the moment, but I do not know if I will be able to say the same thing junior year when I’m studying for the LSAT trying to get into law school. I’m only a couple hours away from pulling all nighters as it is. After much consideration I have found my solution. The library. It seems so simple! There are no kitchens at the library and the coffee shop closes at 1:00 am. Add in that I am a cheap college student and the idea of spending money on a cookie sounds preposterous! Need to take a power nap? The downstairs lobby has some comfy looking couches! I’m just kidding. I still think sleep is overrated as I almost fall asleep on my keyboard while writing this. Workouts can become implemented in my daily routine. I can hide my car keys so I’m forced to walk everywhere and always take the stairs. Trust me, at Dennison Hall that is a large undertaking.
            I do not have to fat to be smart. That is if I learn break my cocaine like addiction to late night munchies. If 30% of students are not gaining a significant amount of weight while at school maybe I can join that percentile. Good-bye peanut M&Ms, I’ll see you in Law School. 

Margaret Cox

Dryden, Jim. "Study Finds Most Students Gain Weight during Early College Years."             Washington University Newsroom. Washington University, 5 Sept. 2005. Web. 22             Sept. 2011.

Hellmich, Nanci. "Beer, Bad Habits Fuel College Weight Gain." USA Today. 29 Oct.             2008. Web. <            college-weight_N.htm>.

1 comment:

  1. Although I completely agree with your argument and have seen this all too common occurrence at this school, I do believe that there is one point that you are missing- exercise. Sure, no amount of exercise can combat overly excessive eating and indulging, including the excess of alcohol consumption on college campuses. However, as college students, we are not completely controlled by our food choices, just put in a position where we must be proactive in how we counteract overeating. Unfortunately in a college setting, the issue may not be a lack of motivation amongst students but rather, a lack of time. It is undoubtedly hard, nearly impossible in some weeks, to make it out to the gym or even take time away from studying to go for a run. However, rather than fall victim to the freshmen (or sophomore, junior, senior) fifteen, we have the choice in other preventative measures that may remove us from this statistic.