erinstotle (turkiskt) wrote in ed_ucate,

University from a BN/EDNOS Perspective: Personal Experience

University is never what it's expected to be, especially as a first year student. The things you learn on campus don't always come from your lectures or tutorials, but from the people that surround you in hallways. One thing I've noticed on campus - and elsewhere - is how often people talk about their weight. Subjects such as the dreaded "freshman fifteen" and "the gym membership" only lead to more fears of gaining weight. Mostly, it's the young people, but older people who are probably on the verge of high cholestorol also have their issues. This is what I have to say so far.

Every day on campus I hear at least one comment that makes me want to jump out of my skin. This time it was, "Ya...We used to go on the treadmill and put the speed up sooo high for like an hour and race, then we'd go on the bikes for another hour. But now I'm out of shape".

It's sad how people will embrace weight loss/excessive exercise and compliment you on such things, yet if someone gains weight, no one says anything positive or anything at all. Especially if an anorexic gains weight, I feel like people are thinking, "Yes, finally she got some sense smacked into her!" Maybe it's an issue of sensitivity or offense; I don't think it's culturally acceptable to tell someone they've gained weight, because that might lead to the person thinking they're fat. That's pretty fucking twisted but I can see how culture and media imposes such an idea.

And the way that people try to sneak in comments about your weight in a conversation is pretty twisted, as well. Example: "Heeey, did you get a haircut? Or lose weight?" or "WHOAAAAAAAA U LOOK SO MUCH SMALLER OMG WUT DID U DO *~*NO CARBZ*~*". Once again, weight loss is seen as a compliment in this sense. Little do people realize that it is triggering. How far does it go? Yeah you lose weight, and maybe you keep losing, and losing, and losing...and then you realize that you are underweight and just as unhealthy as you were when you were overweight or normal, not thinking that you were healthy in the first place. Does that make sense?

Next thing you lose is your mind.

Weight loss is not always positive, god damnit. It is natural to take notice and perhaps comment on someone when their appearance changes - and I am not opposing this - but I dunno, perhaps there is a certain way or tone which things must be said. For me, weight is such a touchy subject that I'd rather not hear anybody make comments about it in public, but that's unrealistic and censoring. I can blame my extreme sensitivity to the subject due to my lack of proper treatment in March 2005, which led to something so unimaginably wretched which I never thought I'd experience in my life; extreme bingeing and purging.

Another reason why being on campus is so hard is that there are thousands and thousands of people of all shapes and sizes and here I am, staring at girls as if I am a 15-year-old boy, monitoring their bones or their jiggling thighs, guessing which one has an eating disorder or which one is unhappy with their physical appearance. And I wish I didn't. I go to a huge fucking university - the population is almost 50,000; there is always someone around to look at.

How are your experiences with school (post-secondary or otherwise) and having an eating disorder?

"Once you're broken, shape won't matter" - Jack Johnson

Erin Pea

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