WEIRENS | Split Pants to Fast Splits: Reclaiming Health in College  

First year students aren’t known for being a picture of good health. The lifestyle of college students in general is characterized with “Freshman 15”, sleep deprivation, midnight junk food feasts and hours of sedentary studying. I’d say it’s a rite of passage, at least for the students I’ve seen at Cornell, to get a bit flabbier, a bit slower, a lot more stressed and acquire a taste for the bottle. They do get killer calf muscles from the hills though. 

As a first year, I wasn’t spared from the temptations of Cornell’s dining hall food, now ranked #2 in the nation. Gluttonous and greedy, I feasted on the newly available unlimited pizza, fried food, pasta and ice cream. Elaborate brunches complete with gooey bread pudding, crispy tater tots, heaps of eggs, bacon, lox bagels and dim sum reliably fattened me every Sunday morning. Confident that my teenage metabolism could handle it, I balled out and chowed down. 

My downfall was forgetting to partake in the two hours of daily sports I had been enjoying in high school —  replaced by occasional, increasingly slower and shorter jogging that didn’t quite cut it. I eventually abandoned exercise altogether in favor of catching up on sleep and trying to just survive my first semester of college. The effect wasn’t as savory or sweet as the causes had been. An incident involving split pants on the Arts Quad (On Pi Day, ironically) was, well, the kick in the pants I needed. 

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