College Changes Habits

In high school, fashion is everything — at least from the high school I attended. Your diet is also somewhat manageable in those days. High school was a lot of people’s glory days. When you get to college, your sense of fashion and somewhat of a decent diet completely deteriorates.

Seventy percent of students gain weight during college because of late night snacking, unhealthy dorm meals and lack of exercise, according to In my opinion, what partially caters to weight gain is the fact that your parents aren’t there to tell you what to eat. That’s definitely how it was for me. For example, my whole life my parents always told me to eat cereal during breakfast time. As soon as I got to college, I ate cereal at all times of the day because I didn’t have anyone to tell me not to. Researchers at Auburn University in Alabama followed 131 students over four years of college and found that a whopping 70 percent of them packed on pounds by graduation — an average of 12, and up to 37 pounds. The overall percentage of students found to be overweight increased from 18 percent to 31 percent. The researchers noted gains in body fat composition and waist circumference as well. In high school I was 162 pounds — now as a junior year, I am 200 pounds. The freshman 15 turned into the college 38. Going to the gym is super annoying and uneventful. I have tried to pick it up over time but I’m still slacking. Over two and a half years of being at Truman it consisted of cereal, fast food, cookies, donuts and the fried, greasy foods of Sodexo.

As far as fashion where I grew up, what you wore meant a lot. All the schools I attended required uniform, but when we had dress down days, it was like a competition. Everyone pulled out their best shoes and outfits. It really brought out the best in people’s self expression. What made it a little challenging was that I grew up Muslim, and typically Muslim girls dress modestly so even our ankles don’t show. So I had to separate western fashion from Muslim fashion. My fashion and creativity really flourished in middle school and high school. Islam made me think outside of the half-naked American trends that I saw everyone else wearing, and I desired to wear to something more. When I got to college the fashion that people adopted was something completely different. Students here dress very basic and uninspiring — it was a lot of running gear, sweats and dirty shoes. Unfortunately, my fashion turned into the “exhausted single dad” look. I started to look like everyone else. I would only dress up on certain occasions. I am dressing up a lot more now, growing up my sense of fashion has shifted and evolved into something better.

From my observations, college can make you become what you never thought you would. In high school, the only sweats I owned were my senior sweats. I never thought I would actually wear them on a daily basis until college. Because I was never athletic in school, I kind of thought I needed to lose weight, coming to Truman just amplified things. I’m definitely laughing out loud because in a way it’s both funny and devastating.