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THE FEAR: GETTING SICKTHE REALITY: Living in close proximity to other students means sharing clothes, class notes..germs. Wider, most students won't come down with a serious illness.
"For decades, freshmen have faced challenges like homesickness and hellish roommates, but things have changed," says Jennifer Wider, MD, author of The Doctor's Complete College Girl's Health Guide.
Just ask Megan (not her real name), a 19-year-old college student in New York who logged on to Juicy Campus (a nasty Website that currently allows students at 63 colleges and universities to post anonymous messages about their classmates) and saw she was being called a slut who "loves cock" and "has a big butt." "I was shocked and mortified to read these things," Megan says.
Party rape "is the new term for date rape since you're not actually on a date," says Bogle.Last year, there was a whooping-cough outbreak at Bob Jones University, in South Carolina.Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded that freshmen have the highest rate of meningitis (a potentially deadly bacterial infection that can affect the brain) of any age-group besides children under 2 and that about 4 million teens contract an STD each year.THE FEAR: GAINING THE FRESHMAN 15THE REALITY: Thanks to all-you-can-eat buffet-style cafeterias, excessive boozing, and midnight snacks, like pizza, most freshman pack on a few extra pounds.But a recent study at Rutgers University found that average weight gain is 7 pounds, not 15. To some degree, college life lends itself to anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating (the most pervasive of the three) "because college students are living alone for the first time, and feelings of stress and anxiety can be overwhelming," says Dr. "This puts them at risk for eating disorders — they use food to cope and exhibit control." HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF: To prevent weight gain, use a smaller-size plate in the cafeteria to avoid taking too much.
Snack on fresh fruit and healthy prepackaged foods, such as low-fat yogurt and nutrition bars, which have calorie info on the label.