A Silent Epidemic: Eating Disorders among College Women
For Jennifer Keagan, high school was a thrill. She was one of the most popular girls in school. She was valedictorian, homecoming queen, student body president, an honor roll student, and the list goes on. She always strived for perfection. Life was easy for Jennifer. She always got what she wanted. Unfortunately, this all came to a halt when it was time for her to face an all new reality: college. Jennifer was no longer around her friends and family. She was on her own now, and realized that college wasn’t as easy as high school like she thought it would be. It was all too overwhelming for her. She became lonely and couldn’t adjust to the college lifestyle. Eventually food became her new-found friend. She would consume large amounts of food and then feel guilty about eating so much, and throw it up. This scenario became a habit for her. It consoled her. Sadly, this is a problem several college females struggle with every day. This problem is known as an eating disorder. Eating disorders arise when young college women face new challenges or changes that they just can’t handle.
Eating disorders have been increasing among college women. Every student enters college with different feelings and emotions. Some are excited and some are worried and afraid. The College Student Journal maintains that most college women “must adjust to being away from home for the first time, maintain a high level of academic achievement, and adjust to a new social environment” (Ross, Niebling, and Heckert, 1999, p.1). The transition from high school to college can prove to be stressful to most. Furthermore, “transitions present young women with challenges that expose both their vulnerabilities and their strengths” (qtd. in Knowlton 2). Many people view the changes associated with college as enjoyable learning experiences in preparation for the “real world,” while others see the new changes as...