Some fears that arise when starting college along with failing out, getting arrested or not making any friends is the freshman 15. Freshman 15 is classified as gaining an unwanted 15 pounds during your first year of college. Most freshmen gain the weight due to excessive alcohol intake, not a lot of physical activity and eating the food offered on campus.
The food options at the University of Tampa are perfect for ensuring the freshmen 15. There are more unhealthy options on campus than there are healthy.
At every drink station, there is water as well as five different types of sodas and sugar-filled juices. I try to choose water every time. Many people cave and choose lemonade or Diet Pepsi if they are feeling frisky.
Places like 155 Degrees that offers fries with every meal make it hard to make good food choices. Pizza and desert is available everyday, all day. It is hard to choose a less tasty but more nutritious option when temptation daunts you at every corner.
The healthiest meal is salad. Eating salad once or twice a day becomes very boring and unfulfilling. You might try and mix it up with different dressings or use spinach instead of iceberg lettuce but it is still salad.
I once tried to go vegetarian for a few months and it became impossible. Not many vegetarian meals are offered and I was left with carb-filled meals. I felt discouraged and went back to my meat-filled diet after just one semester.
Many people are allergic to gluten, a chemical that is found in wheat, barley, and rye. I am gluten sensitive and try to avoid it as much as possible. There are few things I can eat on campus that does not contain gluten. I do not understand why the University of Tampa does not recognize this and make changes to the menu.
Not everyone on campus is over weight but I know that the majority of students do not eat well. The line for french fries is triple the line for the salad bar. It is likely they will suffer in the long run. Some students are out of breath climbing stairs to the third floor in Plant Hall because their heart is so weak.
Until the University of Tampa decides to tweak its food options, I will be stuck with salad and more salad and some fruit partnered with a tall glass of water…ugh.