Breakfast. Eat it.

Theresa Smetona

Breakfast: The word is filled with excitement and promise.

My favorite event of the day. At 7 a.m. on a cold, drafty morning the last thing I want to do is hop out of my warm queen-sized bed. But the thought of scrambled eggs and coffee or oatmeal and cinnamon, more than the fear of missing an 8:30 a.m. class, is what pulls me out of bed each morning. And so, I simply cannot understand when a significant number of my classmates nonchalantly mention that they regularly skip breakfast.

Anyone who has ever seen a cereal box should know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Anyone who has ever read an article on maintaining a healthy weight should know that eating breakfast speeds up your metabolism, and that people who regularly eat breakfast have a much higher overall level of health compared to those who do not. Anyone who has ever struggled to stay awake during class or felt overpowered by lethargy and a lack of motivation should know that eating breakfast gives you a boost that enables you to power through the day. Essentially, breakfast is essential.

So why does the Case Western Reserve University campus have such a problem with remembering to eat breakfast? The most common excuse for missing breakfast runs something along the lines of: “Well, I study so hard and get so little sleep as it is that I really can’t afford to take the time to eat breakfast.”

But wait, I’m confused. Is the twenty seconds necessary to peel a banana to have with your yogurt too daunting of a task to undertake? You can’t spend two minutes to spread some peanut butter on an apple? Even scrambled eggs and toast does not take more than five minutes to prepare. Perhaps I am a singularly uninvolved student with no responsibilities, and that only as such am I allowed the luxury of time for breakfast. Yet I somehow doubt that I am that exceptional.

Of course, there are some students who recognize the importance of eating breakfast, and even if they do not have the time to eat breakfast at home, carry it along with them to class. This is a good start, and when a student in my morning class reaches into her bookbag, looking for some nourishment, I comment to myself that I am happy she at least had the time to pack herself some food. But imagine my dismay, when aforesaid student pulls out a package of Pop-Tarts and proceeds to eat them.

First of all, it is nearly sacrilegious to eat Pop-Tarts cold. Their whole reason for existence is so that they can pop out of the toaster at a pleasing golden brown shade, their fillings having achieved the perfect state of meltiness.

Secondly, a breakfast of high-fructose corn syrup and empty calories might be worse than no breakfast at all. I’m the first to admit that I appreciate a nicely toasted cinnamon Pop-Tart, but as a dessert, not as a substitute for a nutritious breakfast. “They’re so portable,” anonymous student explains. Across from her, munching on a Snickers and sipping a Mountain Dew, a friend agrees, mentioning that he loves that he can buy his breakfast out of the vending machine. Oh yes, I forgot! Fruits, nuts and nutrition bars are not portable. Neither are hard-boiled eggs. A peanut butter sandwich does not seem to be a viable option either. Only foods with no expiration date can be qualified as easy and convenient breakfasts. My mistake.

What boggles me is that a campus filled with such intelligent and otherwise successful students can’t seem to master making a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. This haphazard attitude towards breakfast extends to lunch, dinner and snacks as well. Unfortunately, this self-destructive behavior is defended by the flimsy excuse of not having sufficient time to eat properly. Interestingly, while can’t we make time for breakfast we have plenty of time to clog up our arteries with easy Mac and Cheese and Ramen noodles. Meanwhile, the campus is filled with wilting students who, seemingly ignorant of the basic fact that the human body depends on food to fuel itself, rely on energy drinks and Adderall to make it through the day. Let’s make our campus a happier and healthier place.

It starts with breakfast. Eat it tomorrow.

Theresa Smetona is a senior majoring in Spanish and English. In her free time, she likes to drink coffee and consider the possible benefits of her future unemployment.