Posting on a Sunday… what is this?!
I wanted to write a quick shpeal explaining more about my research project and how it went, and then a more in-depth post for tomorrow. I initially had them grouped together but then I realized it was turning into a novel, as my blog usually does, and I am trying to get away from that a bit (well at least for one day ).
Thank you for all of the well-wishes and “good lucks” on Friday for my presentation, it ended up going quite well! I already received my grade for the entire poster, paper and presentation and I’ll just say that I am one proud and happy lady right now
On the poster the main headings were:
- Introduction- talked about the increasing rates of EDs and disordered eating on college campuses, but also making sure to differentiate between the two as I feel this is necessary. Also rates of students suffering, and how disordered eating can develop into a full-blown illness if not treated.
- Objective- bring awareness, clear up misconceptions, understand the best ways to educate others on campus and in society, all done through my own knowledge and also the use of a Focus Group and emails from all of you Also clearing the idea that you need to be underweight/emaciated in order to have issues was important to address! Because you do not, I am evidence of that!
- Methods- here I spoke about my blog and how I used it to get information. I talked about the questions I asked each of you to answer and the various responses. The Focus Group was also mentioned, how I recruited for that, but also the difficult process it was to get people to come.
- Findings- conclusive findings from both the blog and group, how most people with some kind of ED or disordered eating background have vast knowledge on this topic (makes sense) but how others have limited views or do not quite understand the effects and symptoms. Also spoke about the best education methods.
- Conclusion- I concluded that passive education methods would be the best option- brochures, bulletin boards, posters in key areas of campus, as more people would see these, rather than a lecture where people would most likely not attend. Bringing awareness and education is necessary in stopping the spread of this illness.
I went into much more detail in my paper of course, but these were the basic points I addressed in the presentation.
As I said earlier, it really did go well! I found that speaking about a topic that I am both knowledgeable in and passionate about is easy to do, as I felt I never ran out of things to say. I had an array of people come up to view the poster and each time I explained my research, I found that I said something different, but of course with the same ideas in mind. I will tell you though, I was rather sick of hearing my own voice by the end of the day haha.
Mom and dad were probably sick of my voice eventually too They came and saw the presentation as well, and then I spent the day with MA!
At least 4 of the women that viewed my poster confided in me that they had past experiences with eating disorders (Anorexia and Bulimia in this case). I felt so honored that strangers told me such personal information, and not just mentioned it, but each of them really took the time to share their own personal experiences. They were glad to see that this was being given more attention and awareness, as they agreed this is a topic where an unbelievable amount of shame and denial is felt.
The shame factor… that was one of the questions I proposed when I asked you readers for help in my research and most people that responded said with clear conviction that they felt an immense amount of shame for their struggles. They were/are embarrassed by it, afraid no one will understand or think they are “weirdos” for such obsessions. The fear of of being seen as “weak” and not perfect, an image that they strive to convey to outside world, yet they are slowly dying inside.
I completely understand this feeling and why some people felt such a strong emotional shame around their illness… in fact I used to feel this way as well. But then I started to blog and connected with SO MANY other women (and men!) who are also suffering in silence with this, and then I no longer felt alone… the shame factor ebbed away because I knew there were tons of individuals out there in this fight with me.
This project showed me that not only is the increasing rates of disordered eating/EDs a major concern, but also the fact that being quiet about it is more of the norm than not. Mental health issues in general are a “hush hush” topic and then when you throw eating disorders in there, an illness that is so often thought of as superficial, well then a silent problem ensues. If no or limited attention and awareness is brought to this, how will the people get help that need to and when will the numbers decline?
*Hint, the answer is they will not.
I honestly had a (for a lack of a better term) great time doing this capstone project. I took the time to put together research on a topic that I actually give a crap about, rather than forcing myself to bust out something that I “have” to, rather than want to. Like I said a few weeks ago, eating disorders and my own personal experience is what I NEED to focus on right now in order to make peace with it.
Hoookay so that project is out of the way and only two papers stand between me and being 100% done for the year! Graduation is on May 12th… almost there, must.push.through.last.assignments.don’t.want.to.ugh.
Do you see why I had to separate my posts between today and tomorrow? Well you will, another wordy one coming at you tomorrow sometime!
-How comfortable are you with public speaking? Do you have to do it often?
-Do you agree with my findings, that passive education would be the best option for bringing awareness and knowledge to this topic?
-To anyone in college/school right now, when is your last day and when does summer break begin?
-If you are doing or had to do a capstone/final research project, what topic did you choose?
Have a nice rest of your Sunday and see you tomorrow