Life-changing decisions not necessarily negative

Amanda Siefken Visual Editor

There are moments in life when people say things without thinking about them. For moments like this, there is an online meme: “That escalated quickly.” I have written before about my allergies to gluten, and living with the condition everyday. I can usually count on someone commenting on my lack of options or the “weird” things that I eat. People have told me “I think I would kill myself if I couldn’t eat gluten” or “I would rather die of cancer than stop eating it.” Insert that meme here.

Not only is this allergy something that I cannot control, I think that saying you would rather take your own life than live with a dietary complication is pretty drastic. Yes, it is hard sometimes, and yes I do miss being able to eat like everyone else on this campus. But saying that you would rather kill yourself than have my life? It’s pretty harsh. I am used to it, but I challenge people to think about what they are saying before they say it.

I am victim to this issue of not thinking before I speak, and I have said many things that I regret. Using cancer and suicide to tell someone how much their life sucks, would offend quite a few people. I was told when I was first diagnosed with a gluten allergy that if I continued to eat gluten, I would most likely develop cancer by the age of 35. This shocked me for sure, as I assume it would anyone my age. I have not intentionally eaten gluten since that day, and in that time I have become much healthier.

I can still eat the same things everyone else eats, just differently. One in seven people have a gluten allergy and this is something that is becoming more and more relevant in today’s world. Going off gluten is something I suggest everyone try, but I know better. Giving up gluten is one of the best things that has happened to me, and hearing that someone, a friend even, would rather die than have to eat differently is sad.

I just ask that people start thinking a little more before they say something so drastic. I would not wish depression or cancer upon even my worst enemy. We have all been taught since we were young to think before we speak, and now I challenge us to take that life lesson and put it in practice. I am not saying that everybody should be gluten free, but I think everyone should be critical of what they are saying. It is true that every word said, means something to someone.

On this campus we have people that have been deeply affected by things that we can’t even imagine, so before we comment with something that might offend them, we need to check ourselves. When times are hard, we need to have perspective. While I made a life changing choice when I went off gluten, it was not a life ending decision. 


Amanda Siefken is the Visual Editor at The Collegian. She can be reached at [email protected]