The maxim, ‘you are what you eat’, has proven itself true since I became a college student. I have inadvertently changed my diet and, in turn, my diet has changed me. Involved in this change are the quantity, quality and manner of my eating. This can be summed up in one apt phrase: insubstantial nourishment variously ingested. As such, I regard it as short-term pain for long-term gain.
Before entering college, I had a reasonably healthy diet including sufficient fruit and vegetables. Rarely would I overindulge in pizza or other junk food. As well, generally I ate at regular hours with only the occasional late-night snack. That was prior to essays, seminars, and exams, and the deleterious effect they had on my diet.
A review of a typical day illustrates the point. My day begins with a hastily prepared and more hastily eaten breakfast: coffee, toast and jam (often without the margarine my roommate has not replaced). By mid-morning, more coffee is taken to quell hunger pangs. By lunchtime fellow students often have eaten the more nutritious offerings in the Arts Complex cafeteria. When I arrive, there are no veal cutlets, salmon steaks, meatloaf and few vegetables are left. As a result, I become an omnivore and will have fries and coffee, grilled cheese and coffee, or luncheon-meat sandwiches and coffee, the things my High School Health teacher said should be regarded as ‘banned substances’. Dinner invariably consists of pizza or peanut butter sandwiches. The prerequisites are that it involves little preparation or can readily be ordered by phone. The evening is followed by more coffee and ample portions of snack food.
My much-altered diet is not the stuff on which a marathoner would run. However, unsatisfactory as it is by health standards, it serves the purposes of production. With only one year left in my program it will see me through and in that much it is magna cum laude.