Wednesday, September 8, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - 38
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Cilege on't aboutfindiig ajob, i's aboutfinding yourse f
on future career ambitions rather than get-
"Life is a great big canvas. Throw ting an education in and out of the class-
all the paint on it you can." room.
Yes, a Michigan degree in Business
-Danny Kaye Administration or Engineering will almost
assure you an automatic job upon gradua-
I hope I never hear tion. And yes, in eight months when I leave
any of you new students Heather the University with my bachelor of arts
in the next year say you Kamins degree and most likely jobless, I'll probably
want to be a lawyer ... wish I had such a guarantee.
a doctor, or a rocket N But is the sacrifice worth it? I argue no.
cientist, engineer, You'll hear students joke that the College
investment banker, con- of Literature, Science and the Arts should
sultant, actor, dentist, be called LS&Play.
zoo keeper or even jour- But there is no greater gift that this uni-
nalist. versity can bestow on its students than a
I hope the thought liberal arts education. A chance to fall in
never even crosses your KANDID love with 19th Century French
mind. KAMIS Impressionism, post modern poetry or even
Freshman year in col- botany.
lege, or probably all You have the rest of your life to worry
ur (or five or six) years of college should about tweaking resumes, to learn Microsoft
be propelled by a want to learn and a desire Power Point, to practice managerial skills
to have fun. Too often what are dubbed "the and to go to a vocational graduate school to
best four years of your life" are misspent be a doctor, lawyer, dentist or business
But you only have approximately 536
class days to master symbolic logic and
applied calculus, to talk to world-renowned
experts on psychology and social develop-
ment or to experience the intensity of a
Ralph Williams lecture on Shakespeare and
And I'll bet that one day sitting in your
office on Wall Street or maybe even Capitol
Hill you will agree that those classes on the
economics of third world countries and pol-
itics in China are the earnings from the best
investment you've ever made.
Not only will the knowledge of how the
world works and the theories of the nation's
greatest thinkers enhance any job you even-
tually choose, but current statistics show
that Americans are changing careers every
So although spending two years in the
cozy Kresge Library might be more luxuri-
ous than braving the basement of East Quad
Residence Hall - the home of the
Residential College, the University's own
intimate liberal arts college, you might be
wasting your time when you discover at the
age of 47 that you have always really want-
ed to be a print maker or psychologist.
Don't be afraid or too shy to join every
campus group and take classes that will not
find you a job or go towards your major.
Take a music class or dabble in art. Who
knows you might find a new major - the
discipline you really want to study and
make your life's passion.
And out of the classroom go to that con-
cert even though it is a Wednesday night.
Forget for a few hours about the 12-page
term paper on the the Battle of Hastings in
1066 due Monday and go to the football
You'll treasure for much longer the rival-
ry, spirit and pride of the Wolverines than
the grade you got on the essay.
For the rest of your life you will have to
work 40, 50, 60 or maybe even 120 hours a
week. You've got a whole lifetime in front
of you and a job is just a part of it so don't
waste this opportunity by planning your
experience will be up
to you. If you seek to
find it, the University
can offer it
Graduate with a liberal arts degree
instead. And along the way meet new peo-
ple, speak Japanese, study abroad, find out
how to calculate the velocity of a train and
learn to paint.
- Heather Kamins is editor in chieftf
The Michigan Datly.
She can be reached
via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supposedly open college atmosphere
can suppress talk of eating disorders
By Emily Achenbaum
Daily Editorial Page Editor
Eating disorders are a taboo topic, which is unfortu-
Ate, considering how rampant they are among stu-
dents. Sufferers of eating disorders are the masters of
deception, but I see subtle hints of it everywhere, from
the snippets of conversation I overhear to the traces of
-vomit I see in the Angell Hall womens' bathroom.
* Maybe I've just been conditioned to sense the dam-
age being done by eating disorders, the way my doctor,
who has done work with alcoholics, can sit down at a
dinner party with acquaintances and tell right away
who's got the drinking problem.
Eating disorders conjure up a variety of stereotypes
- that they plague white, affluent over-achiever who
are already thin. I know women who fit that image.
Sorority girl jokes that do not relate to shopping or sex-
ual accessibility tend to be about their alleged eating
habits. But I also know women who are not thin but
have eating disorders - bulimia is sneaky like that --
*d women who aren't good students, don't belong to
a sorority and don't read Vogue but are quietly dying
Think that sounds overly dramatic? I don't.
Admission to the University is a ticket to the land of
opportunity. Damaging eating patterns can grow into a
full-time obsession that leaks into all parts of the indi-
vidual's life. It wrecks self-confidence in areas unrelat-
ed to one's body, such as academic performance.
Victims are literally wasting away.
.1 don't know why exactly college creates an enviro-
ment where eating disorders flourish. College students
seem to be particularly vulnerable to poor body image
that can leadnto depression and anxiety or a full-blown
eating disorder. During college, we're taught to scruti-
nize everything we see, and maybe some people apply
these newly honed skills to themselves. Maybe it's
because college can be pretty damn overwhelming, and
eating disorders are a misguided - although oddly
logical - attempt at control over at least a single
aspect of one's life. According to Anorexia Nervosa
and Related Eating Disorders, Inc., 86 percent of peo-
ple with an eating disorder develop it before the age of
A professor of mine who I greatly admire - she's an
outspoken feminist, has written several books, is a
noted academic in her field - once admitted to me,
privately in office hours, that she suffered from an eat-,
ing disorder in college. My first thought was: What if
this vibrant woman had been snuffed out, her growth
stunted, her potential never reached because this
plague crept into her life and held her hostage?
Who saved her? Could she have saved herself? Can
anyone pull through such a crippling addiction on their
University Health Services offers some treatment
options to suffers of eating disorders. There are also
endless therapists in this touchy-feely, liberal town.
Good thing, too - the sooner an eating disorder is
identified and treated, the easier and faster the recov-
ery, and the smaller the potential for physical and emo-
tional damage. Behavioral issues - like learning how
College can be pretty
and eating disorders can
be a misguided attempt
at control over one
aspect of one's life.
to regain healthy eating habits and how to feel and
respond to hunger again are addressed in treatment. So
are the psychological issues - understanding and
coping with the reasons behind and problems related to
the eating disorder.
Not all sufferers even know they have the disorder
Please, watch your friends, your lovers, yourself
you'll find this nasty disease popping up in the most
Eating disorders are alive and well on this campus.
Look carefully at friends, at classmates when you walk
to class, at dormmates when you sit down in the cafe-
There's a ghost that is possessing some of them. It
breaks my heart. It doesn't need to be that way.
- Emily Achenbaum can be reached via e-mail at
City of Ann Arbor
Call the 24-Hour Hotline, 99-GREEN
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