Freshman 15

What is the freshman 15?

Weight a student gains during their first year of college

North Americans refer to the weight that some college freshmen gain during their first year at university as the freshman 15. Those who believe in this "universal" 15-pound gain claim it is caused by lack of exercise, increased consumption of alcohol and low-nutrition food, and college-related stress.

However, several studies have debunked the notion that the freshman 15 is as common as many people think. While the average freshman does gain somewhere between 2 to 4 pounds during their first year of college, that's a far cry from 15.


How ya doing at school? Put on the freshman 15 yet?
... I'm in cross country, Uncle Bill
University of South Florida students discussing the freshman 15
University of South Florida students discussing the freshman 15

Related Slang


Updated September 8, 2023

Freshman 15 definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Freshman 15" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

We are constantly updating our database with new slang terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. If you would like to suggest a term or an update to an existing one, please let us know!