One in four college girls struggle with unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders; this number is not okay with Auburn student, Kelsey Guyan. Surprisingly, Auburn’s campus does not have a student affiliated support group. “I was shocked that at a school as big as Auburn, there was no student-led support group for people struggling with this,” Guyan said.
Eating disorders affect people of all ages but are especially prominent among college students. An eating disorder can affect college students because of increased workload and less structure. “When you’re in college you’re constantly in place with so many other women that are all your age, so it is easy to compare yourself,” Guyan said.
With all of these factors, students tend to have more anxiety and poor self-esteem. “It’s hard to manage stress in such a new environment. I would spend hours in the gym and limit my eating because I thought it was a normal way to handle my stress,” Guyan said.
(Pictured: Madeline Shaw, Kelsey Guyan, Caroline Weingart)
Guyan plans to start a support group on Auburn’s campus to help other students with similar struggles. “Achieving personal help is so important. Before I start this support group I want to make sure I am in a great place,” Guyan said.
Guyan wants a safe place where students feel like they can openly talk about the struggles they are going through. According to Guyan, not every eating disorder stems from wanting to be “skinny,” it is easy to get caught up in the competitive nature that college creates.
When you are a student at Auburn you truly are a part of a “family.” To Guyan, this means encouraging each other through tough times. “I hope this support group can help many students, every year, find reassurance and a community of people to lean on,” Guyan says.