October 3, 2012

Eating Your Feelings To Preserve Your Sanity

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Prelim season is in full swing, and that can only lead to one thing: stress eating. Sarah McKeen ’13 breaks down the yummy ways to spend your study breaks.

Sometimes the stress piles on so thick that all you are able to do is hop in your car, floor it to the McDonald’s drive-thru, demand a McFlurry with both Oreos and M&M’s, scold the employees for denying your request, screech away screaming “You’re the death of this nation!,” drive to Purity, order a black and white frappe and indulge alone in the parking lot in silent guilt.

I cannot say for sure whether I have done that or not, but I have encountered stress eating experiences similar to the one described above. On occasion.Stress eating is a phenomenon familiar to many a Cornellian. One may even go as far as saying it is an epidemic. It plagues the finest of students. It does not discriminate. Worst of all, it sticks with you. It is your ally in times of desperation, but this sucker is not your friend. Stress eating is not your buddy. Thankfully, you can learn to tame the animal inside of you with some practice.

Let me welcome you to the Tiers of Stress Eating:

Tier 1

This is that time on Sunday night when you are all ready to sit back and watch a movie after your “busy” weekend — until you realize you have a 10-page paper due at 9:05 Monday morning. It’s not that stressful. Yes, you will not get any sleep, but you are confident that you can get through it safely, especially with the help of something to snack on. In walks fro-yo. With the new multitude of accessible locations like Yogurt Crazy or even Noyes right on West Campus, fro-yo is an easy stress food to rely on. It can be indulgent or fealthy (fake healthy, kids). And, hey, it’s right on your walk to and from Olin.

If you just need something to fuel a few more hours of typing, go with the simple choice of tart yogurt with berries and honey. If you are desperately slamming your head into your keyboard hoping for something of substance to appear on the screen, go a little wild. Get the big cup and pile it high with a layer of chocolate fro-yo, a sprinkling of oreos, a layer of vanilla, brownie pieces, a third fro-yo layer of strawberry, a healthy handful of Cap’N Crunch, one final layer of vanilla, hot fudge, whipped cream and four maraschino cherries. The words will just pour out of you after that. Or you’ll vomit.

Tier 2

Oh, how I love the weeks around mid-October when two prelims, three papers, a presentation, 10 problem sets and 25,000 meetings happen to fall in the same week. There are literally not enough hours in the day to get it all done. There is, however, plenty of time to take a few deep breaths and consume 4,000 calories. At times like this, the only place to turn is GrubHub. How amazing is this world that we live in? You can pick up your phone, speak no words, buy food from five different restaurants and have it delivered to you in the library without losing your coveted seat.

The choices are endless, establishing a very thin line between deadly and genius combinations. For example, spinach and artichoke dip from The Connection, pad see ew from Taste of Thai, cinnamon sticks from D.P. Dough and a meat lover’s pizza from Domino’s may seem like a good idea in between Orgo problem sets. I have to warn you, though, that consuming those four things will likely end in disaster. Instead, try a simple variety shared among a few friends. Places like Jack’s, Apollo and Papa John’s have a wide variety of highly unhealthy options that are sure to fill that hole left in your heart after a prelim.

Tier 3

Finals. Day 5. The seas are rising and you may just sink. Metaphors are tastelessly overused in normal speech and physical appearance is the last thing on your mind. You have already had one meltdown when someone took “your seat” on the third floor balcony of Mann. Nothing can truly fix this situation, but there is one thing can provide some solace. That thing is the holy grail. It is Valhalla. It is Fenway Park. This. Is. Cornell. Okay, sorry, I’m talking about CTB if you weren’t able to figure that out.

I challenge you to admit that you do not find immeasurable comfort in at least three sandwiches at CTB. I really cannot provide any advice on what to order here because that is somewhat of a personal admission and I’m really not on that level with you. If you really want to know, just stop by 415 College Ave at 7 a.m., 8 p.m. or 2 a.m. any day of finals and look for the girl dressed like Allison Reynolds from The Breakfast Club, pre-makeover.

Original Author: Sarah McKeen

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