I’ve gone bananas. Literally.

Campuses tend to be divided when it comes to dining hall food – the ‘love it’ camp, or the ‘hate it’ camp. Then there’s me – in the ‘banana’ camp. As a college student with an allergy, dining halls are a puzzle of things that I can definitely eat, definitely not eat, and probably can’t eat. And so I happily munch away at my safe food.

Photo courtesy of Mia Mulvey

Safe food: cereal, soy milk, sandwiches, salads, peanut butter, apples, oranges – and bananas. Bananas, bananas, bananas. On any given day, I most likely have at least 3 bananas in my fridge (they stay better longer that way), and have probably eaten at least 4. My friends recently debated whether I have an obsession or a hoarding problem; perhaps an addiction.

But before it seems as though I’m a lone thief, snatching bananas off the tables, it’s important to note that Boston University provides fruit for students in the dining hall and I also have banana-stealing cohorts that fuel my addiction. My friends will bring bags and stuff them into their coats! We’re trying to set a record – so far it’s 11 bananas at one time.

College is perhaps the first time when we get to thoroughly choose the food we eat everyday. We don’t have Mom to push broccoli on our plate; we have access to every kind of food at every hour. We know the mantra of how many fruits and veggies to eat a day, how much exercise to get, but sometimes, it’s just not realistic. We try to juggle classes, extra-curriculars, jobs and friends, all while attempting to steer clear of the infamous “freshmen fifteen.” It seems like there’s either a success or a failure when it comes to eating right and making good choices.

But why does that have to be? The only reason I tend to (excessively) eat bananas is because I’m allergic to the cookies and cakes. But believe me, I think it’s important to eat those things too. A balance is never perfectly balanced; it’s the act of trying to do it that makes life interesting. We should enjoy what we eat – whether it’s a brownie or an apple – because after all, food gives us the energy to write that paper, ace that midterm, walk to class, and everything else.

In our generation of hyperconsciousness about calories and body image, it’s important for us to understand and respect what it means to have a healthy lifestyle: yes, eating our fruits and veggies, but also our cookies, and fries, and candy.

After all, if we all eat too many bananas, there would be none left for my fridge.

Jennie David is a 19 year old sophomore at Boston University majoring in Psychology and minoring in English. She is a member of NSCS and Psi Chi and is a dual citizen of both Canada and the US. She has Chrohn’s Disease and is the chair of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada’s Youth Advisory Council. Her career goal is to be a pediatric psychologist for chronically ill children.