Too much salad, not enough individuality

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By Sasha Zuflacht

Is there such a thing as too much salad? Although this question may sound silly, it has serious implications.  Salads are the most popular meal at Union College. This generalization is most explicitly applied to the women on campus. Every time I enter Upper or sit down at Dutch, everyone around me is eating a salad.

Granted, I eat salads often myself. With the lack of reliable foods, and the questionable quality of campus food, it is easier to stick with the safer option.  However, what worries me are the people eating salads for lunch and dinner seven days a week. There is a growing obsession across our campus, and throughout our country to be thin. This has always been a trend, but never as powerful as it is now. With the uprising of organic foods, eating healthily has become more popular than ever. I wholeheartedly support this campaign to promote healthy behavior, but there is a very fine line between eating healthy and having an actual problem.

I am neither a therapist or a doctor. I am a spectator. I watch girls around me go to the gym several times a day and eat minimally. I watch everyone obsessing over having someone else’s body. I hear daily conversations about image and appearance. Again, what girl isn’t guilty of this? I sure am. But it’s the degree to which girls on this campus are infatuated with their body. For some reason, we all have the idea that we should be just like each other. We should dress the same, look the same and act the same. Problem? I think so, considering we are all individuals.

My individuality was at an all time low freshman year. I lost sight of who I was, and what I stood for. I bought my first pair of UGGs because I saw everyone around me wearing them. I was shy and timid because I didn’t know how else to act. I felt guilty when I didn’t go to the gym every day. I felt like a crazy person when I would devour a huge plate of french fries at dinner. It wasn’t until that summer that I realized I had conformed to the Union College stereotype. I was determined to come back sophomore year and be myself.

These are sweeping generalizations about Union, and they are not meant to personally attack anyone. I just hope people are aware of these trends. I love being on a campus where students are active and concerned about their health. It makes me a little more cautious of my own behavior. My hope is that people will become more aware of who they are as individuals, and emphasize this across the campus. The student body here provides a great mix of academic and social skills. With this knowledge and enthusiasm, I trust that students will have confidence in themselves.

Stay true to who you are. It’s the most invaluable tool in life.

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