From the category archives:

College Life

Dani

Stop and Enjoy

by Dani on February 26, 2015

in College Life,In Saint Louis

Another day of snow, another day of leaving the house earlier than normal to go through the chore of cleaning the snow and ice off my car and warming it up for the drive to school (which will be more of a fight due to the weather). If you’ve grown up in the Midwest, or have lived here for any length of time, this winter weather is nothing new, and we all bear it the best we can, wishing for an early spring. Today, however, while sweeping the powdery snow off my car, I had a memory pop up in my minds’ eye and it made me take pause. When I was a young girl I had a microscope and I would look at everything under it to see what my world was like up close. In the winter time I became obsessed with trying to look at snowflakes. I would put my glass slides outside so that they would be cold enough for the little flakes and even set up my microscope in the backyard to observe the delicate crystals in their natural habitat. But one thing I didn’t consider was the hot bulb that made it possible to see anything under the microscope, and so each and every time the beautiful snowflakes would melt within seconds of being observed (much to my dismay).

That memory made me stop for a moment and think about how rushed we all are to get from one thing in our lives to another, with hardly a pause in between to just stop and look around. So I stopped cleaning my car and just looked. The snowflakes were huge and the wind made them swirl and dance around in the air before coming to rest on the world below. For that moment I forgot about classes and deadlines and work and bills and just admired the beauty of the snow. Perhaps everyone should just take a moment in their busy schedule, every day, to pause, look around, and enjoy the beauty of the world around us. Take a deep breath and remember those moments. Cheers!

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A week ago we had a surprise snow day at Fontbonne! A friend and I decided to make the most of our snow day and made some great memories!

First, we went sledding on Art Hill in Forest Park! It was my first time sledding there and I absolutely loved it! There were tons of other people there enjoying their snow day, just like we were. We had a blast sledding down Art Hill, but the trek back up was a bit of a workout. :) It was totally worth it though!

After some sledding we stopped by Starbucks for some coffee to warm us up! It was much needed. I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes after spending a couple hours outdoor in the cold winter weather! We sat in Starbucks for a little while and caught each other up on what was happening in our lives, which is always a good thing! It’s hard to keep track of what’s happening in each others lives during a busy school week, so the snow day gave us time to catch up!

To finish off our snow day, we watched The Great Gatsby! That was the first time I had ever seen it and I adored it! I think its one of my favorite movies now! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!

A week later, I reminiscing on that wonderful day full of fun that I got to spend with a great friend!

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NEDAwareness_2015_Shareable_Illusions_Monday

“I had no idea that the ‘perfect’ images I see every day are digital illusions.”

“I had no idea that my passion became my problem.”

“I had no idea that bullying can trigger an eating disorder.”

“I had no idea that my quest for health was making me sick.”

“I had no idea that eating disorders don’t discriminate.”

“I had no idea…” This is the theme for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which is February 22-28 (this week!)

I have gone through most of my life being fairly thin. But that does not mean my weight has never been an issue, at least not in a traditional sense… I’ve heard the words “You’re so thin, you need to eat!” probably more times in my life than I care to count. I know those saying this to me had good intentions (and for the record, I always ate just fine…), however the underlying connotation of hearing this so often drilled it into my brain that I had to be thin!

By the time I got to college, however, that thin frame I had always had started to get more “womenly” curves.  Jeans I’d always worn didn’t fit the same. Shirts began feeling a little too small. My size was changing, and this was a very tough pill to swallow.

I began feeling very self-conscious in a body I had always felt so comfortable in. I began blaming my bad days on my physical appearance. I even convinced myself that getting into better shape could save my near-the-end relationship of 6 years.  So I began following a strict diet plan, committed to intense workout routines, and took fat burning supplements.

Looking at me, would you have thought I needed to loose weight? Most likely not! I was a healthy weight for my height (honestly, probably underweight according to BMI standards.) In fact, I was still hearing that “You’re so thin!” spiel. But to me, the way my body looked was not acceptable. To me, I was no longer “thin,” as I had always been.

I was constantly comparing myself to pictures I saw it the health and fitness magazines I religiously read (because I was on a journey towards “health” after all.) But just as that first quote demonstrates, these pictures of “perfect” bodies were just setting me up for more self-criticism.

Then one day I realized that this journey I had been on towards “health” had been completely skewed! I stopped taking all those supplements, got out of that toxic relationship, traded in my dumbbells for a yoga mat, and stopped shaming myself whenever I “overate.”

Today, I am thankful for my health, and I love my body for all of the incredible things it does for me! I have learned that it really is my best friend, not my worst enemy! Are there still times I feel a little insecure? Do those thoughts come crawling through my mind every now and then? Sure, but not for long!

Now, my case would have be more “disordered eating” than an eating disorder, and thankfully I had an amazing support system to help it from escalating any further. Nonetheless, disordered eating is just as significant as an eating disorder, and it is important that we are aware of the signs for both cases!

Which is why there is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! So we can bring awareness to help the millions of people struggling with issues of body image. To help the “20 million women and 10 million men that suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.” And according to the ANAD, 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 19 and 25!!

95% of these people are college-aged! Not adolescents. Not dealing with the trials and tribulations of high school. College-aged, young adults. Just like I was when I began feeling so insecure and developing a negative relationship with food!

Although, this is not to say you shouldn’t be on the lookout for signs of eating disorders at any age. As the quote above says, “eating disorders do not discriminate.” Any person, any size, any social class, any age, any background. We are all susceptible. I was even a nutrition major, so you would’ve thought I’d known better! But none of us are immune to poor body image.

So what can you do? 

For You: Feeling crumby about your body right now? Write down the top 10 things you love about yourself, that are not related to how you look! Keep it by your desk or tape it to your mirror so it is always there to remind you how much you rock!

For Your Friends: Become a voice of positivism among your friends, and put a stop to group body shaming (you know that scene in Mean Girls..)

For Others: Visit NEDAwareness.org for ways to get involved in National Eating Disordered Awareness Week!

Also be sure check out the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park! It will be lit in green and blue in honor of NEDAwareness week!!

Think you may be suffering from an eating disorder or disordered eating? Take this survey!

Also be sure to check out my personal health blog, The Wholey Trinity, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter!

What will you be doing to help promote awareness for NEDAwareness Week?

-XOXO Hannah

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Transitioning from high school to college can elicit many different types of emotions: nervousness, excitement, fear, anxiety… the list is endless. Going to a whole new place where you may know only a few people, if anyone, can be intimidating. When I first came to Fontbonne, I did not know a single person here — so you can imagine how scary that was for me. The best way that I coped during this new transition period was by fully participating in the welcome week events and getting to know as many people as possible. I found that the more people you talk to, the more you will be able to figure out who you are similar to and who can see spending more time with! Sure, you may encounter a few people who just do not have a personality that clicks with yours, and that is absolutely okay! Another big thing for me was keeping my door to my dorm open. Living on campus allows you to meet other residents in the same boat as you whether you are a freshman, a transfer student or an international student. I left my door open while I was in my room which allowed me to say hi to people passing by and even invite some in to get to know them better. This was how I developed great friendships with many of my floor-mates that I would consider some of my closest friends to this day. Another big part of going to college is the fact that you will be away from your family and friends back home. Thankfully, technology today allows us to have instant communication right at our fingertips. I often send a quick to text to my sister or to my best friend just to let them know that I miss them and am thinking about them. You might even set up a time to Skype or FaceTime your friends and family and catch up on what is going on! College is an exciting and busy time, but it is important to keep in touch with those you do not see all the time. And the final piece of advice I can give you is this: enjoy your time in college and soak up every moment. Embrace the many emotions, challenges, and fun times that you have, because they come and go so fast!

I have attached a video of the lyrics to the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield because I feel like it truly encompasses the new beginnings and the journey of the college experience specifically the line, “Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.”

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Taking Data

by Isabella February 23, 2015

As a speech-pathology major, one of my profession’s greatest concerns is keeping track. By keeping track, we have the evidence we need to judge our work, to backtrack, or move forward, with different strategies, all to achieve a goal. For many speech-pathology majors, or any major that requires taking data, it is difficult to keep track […]

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Leaving the Lions

by Raven February 23, 2015

Hey Fonties! Hope you had a fabulous week. I can’t believe I’m almost a college senior! Time really does fly when you’re having fun. It seems like just yesterday, I was being fitted for a cap and gown for high school graduation. When I think about my transition from high school to college, I remember […]

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Griffin Gang

by Sarah B. February 19, 2015

Have you been looking for an group to get involved with? Try out Griffin Gang! Our group is all about getting students to the games to support our teams. Every week our executive team gathers to discuss ways in which we could get more involvement from the crowd. Of course, our sports teams are not as big as […]

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Becoming a College Student

by Patricia February 18, 2015

When I was first looking at colleges senior year, I was a bit nervous. I heard all kinds of rumors such as the classes are the size of a theater, the teachers don’t care if you succeed etc…But once I came to Fontbonne, I found all of that to be untrue. Fontbonne has smaller classes, […]

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Two different worlds.

by Cathy February 18, 2015

High school, at least for me, was not that long ago. A year ago from this date, I was in my home town and attending daily classes as a Phoenix. So how did I transition from a Phoenix to a Griffin? High school attempts to prepare you for college academically, but it can sadly fail […]

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Student Life is Hard — But It’s Worth It!

by Kathy February 17, 2015

Hello everyone, This week our topic is sharing your tips about balancing school life and work. Before coming to St. Louis last summer, I had two part-time jobs while earning my undergrad degree. To be honest, I was extremely thankful that I could have a very nice part-time job working as a front desk clerk […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.