Back to School 2010: How to Gain the Freshman 15 

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Everyone has heard or experienced their fair share of college horror stories: the nymphomaniac roommate, the professor sprung directly from the ninth circle of hell, and, of course, the dreaded freshman 15. But growth (whether up or out) is a natural part of life, and college is all about finding yourself, so why not make the biggest target possible. Here’s a list of tips and tricks to help you learn to stop worrying and love the bulge.

1. Switch your drug of choice from Adderall to spice, a marijuana substitute legal to smoke in Utah and available at various smoke shops. If you’re worried your academic performance will suffer, take more classes in metaphysics and culinary arts. Or, try a cocktail of both and spend hours alphabetically ordering potato chips in the bag by the U.S. state they most resemble, then eat them in the order that they joined the union. Also a great way to study for your American Civ final.

2. Make friends with the Ute football team, and eat every meal with them. While you’re eating that third slice of pizza, your new friends will be on their sixth. You’ll feel like an underachiever. Plus, your new friends can carry you from the dining hall when your weak, flabby legs can no longer waddle under the weight of your distended stomach.

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3. Avoid befriending the wrestling team. Watching them starve off pounds while you’re going to the mat for that seventh cup of soft-serve at Hire’s Big H (425 S. 700 East, 801-364-4582) is a total buzzkill.

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4. Don’t go for a run unless it’s to the state liquor store—the closest ones to the U and Westminster campus are in the Avenues (402 Sixth Avenue), Sugar House (1154 Ashton Ave.) and downtown (205 W. 400 South)

5. Look to ThisIsWhyYoureFat.com for recipe ideas like foot-long cheeseburger and nine-layer cake. Fortunately, most of the ingredients necessary for these recipes can be found at fast-food joints around most campuses. Stock up on the basics like fried chicken, donuts, peanut butter and bacon and you should be able to pull most of these together in a few short, artery-clogging minutes.

6. If you’re on meal plan, find out if your dining hall has ever had a food-poisoning outbreak. If so, avoid, avoid, avoid. Nobody ever got fat suffering from E. coli.

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7. Play with your food. College is a time for experimentation. So go ahead and have your french fries with marshmallow fluff, make ranch dressing a fundamental part of your life, put buffalo sauce on bananas. Explore the brave new world of condiments (like the exotic Indian ones at Shop & Go, 365 S. 900 East, 801-355-1963).

8. Stick to the four main food groups: Big Ed’s beer (210 University St., 801-582-9045), The Pie’s pizza (1320 E. 200 South, 801-582-5700), Training Table’s cheese fries (809 E. 400 South, 801-35--7523) and Little World take-out (1356 S. State, 801-467-5213). Remember, everything else in moderation—especially vegetables, which are acceptable only when fried, drenched in sauce or used as pizza toppings.

9. Three words: late-night snacking. Three places who’ll serve your 24-hour binge fest: Bayleaf Cafe (159 S. Main, 801-359-8490); Dee’s (2104 S. 700 East, 801-487-6761); Belgian Waffle (7331 S. 900 East, 801-566-5731). Feel good about that second dinner and third dessert of the night. After all, Mario Kart isn’t going to play itself.

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10. Take the campus shuttle everywhere, or equip your scooter or bike with a motor. Avoid having to walk to class, and let those calories stack up in a meaningful way. For those with true dedication, hop on a Rascal and scoot your way to a life of sedentary obesity.

11. Drink beer instead of water (Squatters, 147 W. Broadway, 801- 328-2329). The advantage of the beer belly you’ll develop? You’ll fit in to any fraternity you choose. The disadvantage? That may not be true of lecture-hall seats.

12. On that note, avoid any form of exercise that doesn’t involve keg stands. If you must join a sports team, make your own intramural eating team (ClubFed at CityWeekly.net) and surround yourself with like-minded gastronomes who will cheer for your gluttony.

13. Studying is the ideal time for stress eating. Keep a pastry stash (Mrs. Backer’s Pastry Shop, 434 E. South Temple, 801-532-2022) in the library. Escape to a hidden nook every so often to fill the hole in your soul left by nihilism studies with the tasty creations from So Cupcake (3939 S. Highland Drive, 801-274-8300). Hollow out a few volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica to stash My Dough Girl’s (770 S. 300 West, 801-834-6111) delicious “Penelope” peanut butter cookies. No one will be using them for anything better.

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14. Have a series of awkward, failed relationships, and devote at least a pint of hand-packed Dolcetti Gelato (available at the Tea Grotto, 2030 S. 900 East, 801-466-8255) to each break-up. Fortunately, this method is elegant in its self-propagation. The fatter you get, the less likely members of the opposite sex will want to be with you and the more you’ll want to eat your feelings. To put it in familiar terms, this strategy comes with free refills.

15. Don’t buy a mirror for your room. Not only will it risk making you self-conscious of your figure, but in the cramped confines of a dorm room, you won’t be able to step back from it far enough to see your body in its entirety. You’ll have to shuffle back and forth, and like I’ve said before, exercise is a big no-no.

Next: Back to School 2010: Decorating & Dressing on a Student Budget

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