I sit down at my desk in the student government office, I open my laptop and start it up. I move on to unzipping my lunch box and place my lunch in front of me. As I begin reading emails and checking my schedule for the rest of the day, I pick my sandwich with one hand and handle the laptop with the other. This is the normal lunch and dinner I have been doing all semester. Sometimes I am lucky and have someone else in the office to talk with but most times I sit alone doing work. Even my breakfast I eat alone as my roommates get up before and after me. I never really experienced the depressing feeling of eating alone for this long of a period in my life. So thats what I am writing about, that painful feeling you get when you spend too much time eating alone.
I came from a family who always ate meals together, especially dinner in which we always sat at the dining room table as a family. I also came from a small high school that pretty much had no one sit alone at lunch. Even when I first came to college I was apart of team that I sat with for every meal for two years. So what set this semester apart from the last you ask? I just became much more responsible for my own meals as I decided to live off campus and not have a meal plan. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing food and then figuring out where to eat the food in a college lifestyle. I end up mostly buying pre-made food and supplementing with a few things to call it a meal.
The depressing feeling of eating alone didn't really become an obvious thought until our campuses holiday dinner occured and when I tried to attend it I was forced to pay even though it was a fundraising event. It just made me realize that I was alone when ever I ate and I rarely had someone to share a meal with even as we are coming into the holidays. I felt so lonely that I ended up leaving the school and having dinner at chipotle, something I have done a couple times when I needed some personal time away from school. But again I sat alone looking at window not understanding this deeper feeling that has built over a whole semester.
It took me about a week from the event to realize why I had this continued feeling and why the holiday dinner felt so painful for such a simple situation. I have learned a lot though already as I look into my next semester as I will push for having my meals with others and separating work and food in order to have a healthier way of living and a brighter feeling about life.