Daniela Rojas is a third-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences, majoring in College Scholar & American Studies. She is the dining editor in the 142nd editorial board, as well as an opinion columnist. Her fortnightly column Anything but MunDANinities explores mental health, intersectionality, political and societal matters, campus history and things that keep her up at night. She can be reached at [email protected].
Growing up with gut-twisting menstrual cramps, Armita Jamshidi ‘25 (majoring in Computer Science and College Scholar, focusing on the intersection between entrepreneurship and women’s health) knew one thing: she didn’t deserve to suffer through her pain. Uncomfortable with the possible long-term consequences of traditional pain medication, Jamshidi instead relied on her grandma’s soothing Middle-Eastern recipes. Inspired by these recipes, she launched her small business in 2022 as She Balls. Now known as Aunt Flow’s Kitchen, her company is dedicated to helping menstruators mitigate period cramps with grandma-approved “Cramp Bites.”
Coming to Cornell, Jamshidi was unable to replicate her comfort foods due to there being no Middle Eastern grocery stores in a local radius. As her cramps worsened, she ended up in the E.R. and struggled to get through daily life.
Content warning: this piece contains discussion of suicidal ideation, depression and other mental health conditions.
Writing this column from my Cornell dorm, I feel a sense of giddy. I’m realizing how far I’ve come. I’m back on campus and it feels like home; I want to share my takeaways from my health leave before I take a break from auto-biographical columns for the time being (I’ve been documenting my journey via my columns regarding my severe depression and suicidal ideation since last school year). I’m fully aware that I sound like a child excitedly presenting their favorite toy to their first grade class, but it comes from a genuine place.
It’s not anyone’s fault that treatment paths are not well-known. To be honest, I used to have the same questions about myself. Cornell students should be educated on the varying paths of mental health treatment in today’s world. Previously, I discussed what happens when you disclose wanting to end your life to a counselor and how being inpatient at a hospital works. I also talked about taking a health leave to get additional help — specifically, going to residential. However, I didn’t explicitly describe what residential was nor the path to treatment as a whole. When the Cornell community is educated on these topics, it can work to destigmatize mental health and teach others that healing is a process, not instantaneous.
Trigger warning: this piece contains discussion of suicidal ideation, depression and other mental health conditions.
I’m not writing this column in my Ithaca dorm room, unfortunately. As a matter of fact, I’m not even enrolled in Spring classes at the moment. I’m writing this column in a time crunch because I have limited computer access where 90 percent of what’s on Google is blocked and my usual computer time is consumed by endless health appointments. I’m in California, a one hour car-drive away from my hometown of San Ramon, on a completely different coast. I’m in a psychiatric residential care facility, on a health leave from Cornell. A lot has happened since I’ve last published a column.
It’s the psych ward. There’s no way out of it. No one wants to be there. I’m not in any way glamorizing suicide and hospitalization. I just want people to know that it’s not as scary and stigmatized as people make it out to be.
Anyone who experiences periods, especially in college, knows the struggle of having cramps. Eating foods that decrease inflammation in the body reduces cramping, but it’s hard to know what to eat to help yourself, especially when you’re always on the go and subject to dining hall food.
Obviously, I’m not here to tell you what you can and cannot eat. I am here, however, to recommend certain foods based on research and my own experiences. In a way, this piece is more for me to enforce healthy eating habits while on my period. Writing things down helps me.
It doesn’t help when your country is telling you that your body doesn’t matter. Being able to have control over your body is treated as a privilege today, when it should be treated as a right. Why do I (and others) suffer the consequences of laws made by a governing body that is an inaccurate representation of the American people, subject to horror stories of young women decades ago doing harmful things to terminate their pregnancies?
After I received my Cornell acceptance letter, I dove head-first into every Google search about campus, wondering what the food would be like. It seemed silly, but it was something that mattered to me. Navigating campus eateries, both on and off campus, I’ve mastered the perfect places to visit for every scenario. Here are the best places to eat on campus for oddly specific scenarios that I’ve encountered (while living on North Campus):
When it’s nearing 2 a.m. and you have the munchies, you go to Bear Necessities on North Campus. Those churros hit different.