An Invisible Fight 

Instagram posts. Workouts at RPAC. Mental and physical comparisons. Food restricting. Skipping dinner Friday nights. Worried about others’ opinions.   

Your time at the university is brief, but the experiences and opportunities you encounter academically and socially speeds personal growth. We learn what it means to be vulnerable, which involves drawing back our curtain and revealing the stage labeled mental health.  

Food, in particular, has led many people into dark places, even at Ohio State. Campus has many cafes and cafeterias at almost every corner, and for many, the convenience of having food so close is more advantageous than anything. Nutrition and dieting can boost self-esteem while in college, thanks to the healthier options in university dining and nearby restaurants. In some instances, however, this can be a huge struggle; the constant stress of what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat deeply affects many individuals, so it’s important to remember that our battle with food isn’t just a one-person odyssey.  

This situation is personal to everybody, but the mental tension that lays deeply rooted between food intake and mental health can escalate to a host of detrimental habits. A version of this is calorie restriction on drinking days; a study, recognized by the National Institutes of Health, surveyed 4,271 students at 10 universities and found that “67% [of students] restricted because of weight concerns” (Giles). Restriction might appear as a way to get more drunk or give a skinnier appearance, but this temporary fix can lead to issues later into the drinking night or even down the road with body image. Some students, moreover, take this a step farther and engage in restriction throughout the week; this is a struggle with many causes and effects, but what it comes down to is seeking healing and letting others know your story.  

If you would like to talk to someone about this topic or have questions, there are some resources linked below. This is the age where mental health is finally being explored and discussed, so remember, it’s okay to not be okay.  



-Noah Jagielski, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador 

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