Growing into a healthier person

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illustration by Julia Poage, staff illustrator

Sometimes, I almost don’t recognize the person I am now. Before I got to Trinity, I rarely exercised when it wasn’t required, I always needed some kind of meat product in my food and I never slept before two a.m. I loved it. Not exercising just meant more free time playing video games or reading. I had a deep and loving relationship with chicken, beef and pork dishes from different cultures that had no room for more than a couple pieces of vegetables every other day. Staying up late at night when everyone else was asleep let me enjoy quiet time to myself without thinking about all the future things that I would eventually need to think about, like schoolwork, college applications or what I wanted to do for a living.

So when I was standing in line for Taste of Diversity waiting for free food and a free T-shirt, partly to kill time while waiting in line and partly because it’s the end of the semester and I’m feeling a little sentimental, I realized how different my life is now. I was drowsy because I had only gotten seven hours of sleep instead of my new usual of eight hours of sleep. I was munching on mock-meat chicken tenders from a vegetarian restaurant called Green and absolutely loving them. And just a week before that, I had finally learned what the renovated Bell Fitness Center looks like. It’s beautiful in there, by the way.

Taste of Diversity isn’t the first Trinity event I’ve been to, and it definitely won’t be the last. But, in some small way, it reminded me how nice it is to try new things. Briefly, I felt humbled because I was reminded that I’m not always right. In fact, I quietly realized that I’ve been wrong a lot this year. I’m not saying that not exercising, staying up late, and eating a bunch of meat isn’t fun or worthwhile — because it most definitely is. What I am saying is that I had preconceived notions about healthy living habits that made me not want to exercise, or try vegetarian food, or sleep at a normal hour. And when I did try being a little healthier, it wasn’t that bad. That being said, I have to admit that sometimes, if I’m feeling very stubborn, I will stay up until three a.m. before passing out with Netflix still playing on my phone.

So whether it’s about smaller things like food or more heated topics like religion, politics and relationships, try to keep an open mind about what the other side has to say. Try new things. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Embrace moments in which you’ve made a mistake, and admit that you were wrong.

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