Being A Picky Eater As A Grownup In College

I'm A Junior In College And *Checks Menu* Yeah, I'm Still A Picky Eater

I still only eat the same five things... sorry, mom.

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Ever since I was a wee little girl, I've been the pickiest eater. Vegetables? Never! Wheat bread and fruits other than grapes and bananas were also solid no-gos. I ate from quite the selective group of foods, aka basically all carbs, and nothing has changed 20 years later. My diet is that of my five-year-old self, and I get mocked for it on the regular by family and friends.

I feel like I should be more willing to try new foods now that I'm an adult. My friends enjoy cute salads and have veggies with every meal, living their absolute healthiest life, while I still overload on eggs and grilled cheese. I can look at the things they eat, and it revolts me, yet I know that sooner or later I have to learn how to eat foods that normal people eat.

I love the dining halls at my school, because there is always an option for me to eat, even if it's just an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly, at least it's something and I don't have to starve. I complain a lot about the food I eat at school, and the only reason I complain so much is that the options aren't something someone so picky like me can enjoy. At least half the time I go to the dining hall, I either love what they are serving for the night or hate it, there's never really any in-between.

The staff at the dining halls on campus deserve the recognition they deserve from all students for the hard work they put into making us our meals, yet I'm so picky I hardly remember to step back and realize just how much goes into feeding an entire campus. They make me all the foods this picky eater loves and I need to be more grateful, instead of complaining that they didn't make stuffed shells as I wanted them to.

I've thought about my health a lot recently. I do not want to become unhealthy due to my poor eating choices. I want to eat healthily so I can show my children how to eat healthily. I am going to slowly start making myself try new things at the dining hall, whether it's a whole meal or just a small aspect of it. Every step counts, and the only way to expand my pallet is by actively making an effort to.

When I'm thirty years old, I want to be able to look back on my twenties and laugh at how picky I used to be. I do not want to be that age and still be as picky as I am now, because that would be not only embarrassing but dangerous to my health. I hope to prove my friends and family wrong and become the more diverse in what I eat than they would ever expect from me.

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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The Difference Between Vegan, Vegetarian, And Some Other Diets

I get asked what it means to be a vegan all the time, so in light of those who have trouble understanding, here's an article defining a few different types.

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Coming to a college full of new people, I couldn't tell you the number of times I hear, "Wait, are you vegetarian or vegan?" It's a question we all get, and sometimes people don't even know what those phrases are. Another, "What does that even mean?" They get mixed up, thrown around, and ranted about in my daily life, and it's quite a trip. I explain over and over again the differences, what I am, and why I am vegan, but the questions always come again.

For those of you who are still confused, I'll help you out a little.

Here is a list of some different dietary types, and what they mean.

Vegan

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Veganism, easily defined, is the lack of meat, dairy, or any animal product from your diet. Honey, milk, eggs, chicken, bacon, pork, steak, beef, etc., are all items vegans don't eat. Many go even further by buying only animal-free and cruelty-free (not animal tested) makeups, body products, clothing, and more. A devoted vegan checks every product used or consumed to make sure it's free of anything animal related. The Vegan Society defines Veganism as, "A way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

A vegan diet can also be referred to as a plant-based diet, with all the same aspects, but some plant-based people may not focus on any other products than food.

Vegetarian

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Sweet and simple, vegetarians just don't eat meat. This does not include dairy or egg. They can still eat macaroni and cheese, just no more cheeseburgers or steaks. Vegetarian is pretty straight forward in the fact that they only lack the meat aspect of a diet!

Pescatarian

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Similar to vegetarians, pescatarians eat no meat except fish. They allow themselves to consume kinds of fish, just not beef, pork, or other types of meat.

Flexitarian

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My definition of a flexitarian is someone who keeps to a mostly plant-based diet, with the occasional animal product. These could be people who are transitioning and trying out the vegan or vegetarian diet but are not fully committed to it, for various reasons. Flexitarian could also be someone who just choices to eat mostly meat or dairy free but every few meals will eat something from an animal.

Although this is not technically a vegetarian or vegan diet, it's a great way to start the journey to becoming a vegan.

It's a tricky thing trying to navigate all the diets out there these days.

If you're ever interested in trying out these diets there are incredible amounts of resources available to help you on that journey. Do some research, get an understanding of why people choose these diets and then find somewhere to help you! Good places to start are PETA, The Vegan Society, Vegan Action, and many more. Just type into a google search, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or any other diet and you'll get loads of information! I encourage everyone I talk to, consider these types of change because they're great for yourself, the animals, and the environment.

I hope these brief definitions have helped you to understand some more what these different words mean, and maybe they have you thinking about ways you could change your diet!

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