Freshman Fifteen

A voice shouts in an empty room, “What will you gain when you go to college?”


I stutter as “intelligence” and “maturity” struggle to leave my mouth, but I swallow them back up.


“Fifteen pounds” I say, fearfully hoping this is not the case.


The freshman fifteen. We’ve all heard of it. We all dread it. We all laugh about it.


I had nightmares.


As if fifteen pounds was the absolute worst thing I could bring back from college when I visit again during Christmas break.


As if failing grades and a drinking problem are somehow better than a little thigh fat, a little arm fat, maybe some hips.


We teach girls that even though they are going to accomplish bigger and better things, become smart young leaders of the new world, they must not forget what they are first, objects.


They must not forget that no matter how much they accomplish their first duty is to stay attractive, to stay skinny.


Their first order of business is not to change the world, but to not take up too much space.


I was 15 when I developed an eating disorder and I battled it up until the day I left the nest


I battled it after as well.


It is so easy to avoid the dining halls, “I’m just so busy studying”


It is so easy to exercise the stress away


It is easy to waste away.


People will applaud you for losing weight when you get to college.


Even if you should have gained weight.


Even if you were malnourished when you got there.


I have not gained 15 pounds in my freshman year, and I really should have.


I have gained nothing but another year suffering from the same old shit I have been for 3 years.


I have lost another year of my life trying so hard to be smaller. To be easier on the eyes. To not be there at all.


I am an adult dammit! I should know how to live my life the way I want, but I can’t.


I am a victim of the freshman 15, and I have been since I was 15.


And I’ve gained nothing from it.

This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world


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