The SparkPeople Blog

All Entries For college

Celebrating Four Decades of Title IX


June 23, 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the signing of national legislation known as Title IX that sought to create equal rights for boys and girls. Because of this legislation, countless women including myself have taken advantage of the ability to participate in a myriad of athletic opportunities that extend to all levels of competition and have reached far beyond the United States.
 
The proof of Title IX's impact lies far beyond any statistics regarding the number of girls that have participated in organizes athletics. Several weeks ago, the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Track and Field Championships took place at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at The Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio. You may have heard about the teen runner that helped carry her competitor as she struggled to finish the long race. As a four-time competitor in that state meet (as a high jumper), I loved reading about the great example of sportsmanship at such a high level of competition. Watching it was even better!
Posted 7/2/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 11 comments   5,794 views
Read More ›

Is the Freshman 15 Just a Myth?


You’ve probably heard of the dreaded “Freshman 15”, the weight many college students typically gain when making the transition to life on their own.  It’s easy to see how weight gain is possible for some students:  dining halls with lots of unhealthy food choices, increased alcohol consumption, more time spent studying and less time spent exercising.  Even with these changes, I always thought that 15 pounds sounded like a lot.  Of course there are some who gain more, some who gain less and some who don’t gain any at all.   But a new study says that the Freshman 15 is really a myth, with the typical weight gain being much less.
 
The study, published in the journal Social Science Quarterly, found that freshman gain an average of 2.5 to 3.5 pounds in the first year of college.  It found that noncollege people of the same age also gained, although it was about a half-pound less.  As you could expect, heavy drinkers gained more and those who had a job gained less.   There were no significant differences between income levels or those who lived on or off campus.  In general, a small amount of weight gain seems common at this point in life. 
 
Even though the Freshman 15 might be a myth, it can still be a struggle to make healthy food choices and exercise regularly when making this transition into adulthood.  SparkPeople’s College Living Lifestyle Center is full of helpful information to get you (or your loved ones) on the right track.  Establishing healthy habits early on makes it easier to continue them long-term. 
 
Did you gain weight when you went to college (or just at this point in your life)?  If so, why?  If you have loved ones who are headed to college (or you are in college yourself), how are you helping to establish healthy habits and avoid unnecessary weight gain? 
Posted 12/2/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 47 comments   9,076 views
Read More ›

Game of Your Life - Choose your moves carefully


After taking our oldest to college this summer, we began having conversations with our youngest about his career interests to be sure he was on the right track with his high school course selections. As we talked, he told us of his interest in video game development and design. We were not surprised due to his long-standing love of video games. In addition to his core subjects, he was signed up for an intro to computer programming class so we were relieved to find he was on the right track. This fall, he has jumped in with web design on his school's First Robotics team, which also provides a great opportunity to explore other areas of interest. After talking with him, my husband and I began to wonder about college programs around us that provided this type of degree program. We did an online search for undergraduate college programs and found this Princeton Review Top Undergraduate Schools for Video Game Design list and found a couple of top programs nearby.
 
We were very pleased to learn that the ninth movie in the Family Movie Night series will focus on four college freshman in a video game design program who need to stick together to develop the game of their lives or risk being sent packing. "Game of Your Life" stars Nathan Kress (iCarly), Titus Makin Jr. (Glee), and Lea Thompson (Back To The Future) and airs on NBC at 8/7c on Friday, December 2nd. This movie highlights the difficult choices that young adults have to make whether they are in college or working a job. Important life lessons like determining where to place loyalties, accepting personal responsibility, and learning that the choices we make ultimately affect the people around us. Look at this conversation with one of the stars.

Posted 11/28/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 6 comments   6,415 views
Read More ›

4 Smart Strategies for Healthy Eating at College


In a few short weeks, we will take our oldest child to settle in for her first year of college. After a few tears from her father and I and possibly a few cheers from her, she will on her own and faced with many choices including what to eat and how to stay fit. Growing up as the child of a nutrition professional, she knows the basics of meal planning. Growing up with parents that have set an example for the importance of fitness for health, she knows the basics of a successful fitness plan. Regular fitness can easily work into her daily choices since she will need to walk or bike to and from classes each day, but what about meals. Although studies have shown providing nutrition information doesn't always alter college students unhealthy food choices, new students don't have to settle for the dreaded "Freshman 15" while adjusting to college living. Here are four basic strategies to help students eat healthy away from home.
Posted 7/7/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 9 comments   10,216 views
Read More ›