Why Proud2Bme On Campus Matters
By Shirley Wang--I am so excited for the launch of Proud2BMe On Campus! Eating disorders are a growing concern on college campuses nationwide, and as a Counseling and Psychological Services Peer Educator at my college, I am aware of the potential difficulties and stigma attached to seeking help. But despite the difficulties, I truly believe, based on personal experience, that early intervention and professional treatment are critical for anyone struggling with an eating disorder.
In high school, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. I went through years of treatment during which I wasn’t sure I could ever live any kind of meaningful life. I don’t believe that treatment ‘cured’ me, but rather that it helped me find and develop the skills I needed to resist urges, reach out for support, and create a different identity for myself.
I entered college last year in a good place and have stayed in solid recovery since then. I am now a psychology major and statistics minor, and this semester I am doing independent research with a professor in quantitative psychology/statistical methods. I’ve made my best friends at college and will soon be celebrating one year of being together with my boyfriend.
Although the eating disorder is an important part of my past, it doesn’t hold importance in my life today or define who I am. I am thankful and appreciative every day of how far I’ve come, and want nothing more than to show and help others create their own lives worth living.
I was lucky enough to start college in recovery; however, there are thousands of college students around the country who have never had access to help and who may not even know the signs of an eating disorder. Proud2BMe on Campus aims to have eating disorder education, resources, and support readily available all college campuses to help students through eating and body image concerns. If we can help just one student, one friend, or one professor recognize warning signs and support a student to get the help they need, it will be worth it. Proud2BMe on Campus has the potential to make a huge difference in students’ lives, and I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful cause.