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July 9, 2019 | by  | in SWAT |
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SWAT: Food

Food and wellbeing are interlinked. Just think about your favourite meal: It’s more than just the delicious, complementary flavours; it’s also the feelings you have when you sit down to eat it. It’s the company of friends or family, it’s the atmosphere of breezy conversation, it’s the inside jokes that are shared like appetizers. Our favourite meal has a familiarity that evokes these emotions. For one shining moment, everything feels like it will be okay.

Wellbeing can mean many things, but for me it has always meant connection; the feeling of being part of a community or purpose. And so many important moments of connection are enshrined in food. I visited Iran when I was seven, and it was the food that made the greatest impression on me—not just because it was delicious, but because of the way it brought people together. I remember night after night of sitting on a carpet and hearing laughter and excited chattering as my family lingered over a meal. The food brought us together and helped create a loving space.

We experience this at Vic, too. Whether it’s sharing curly fries at the Hunter Lounge or downing a morning coffee, so many beautiful moments of connection happen at this university through food. Last trimester, there was an international food festival in the Hub as part of VUWSA’s #itooamvic campaign. Students talked and laughed and ate together, briefly escaping the stress of study. That, to me, is what wellbeing looks like. It’s all of these moments where we take a step back to enjoy some good food in good company.

So much of our time at uni is characterised by a frenzy of study and assignments, of trying to keep up with a mountain of readings that grows larger by the week. Food gives us that chance to recharge and look after ourselves. It nudges into our day and tells us that now is not the time to add an extra paragraph, now is the time to find the nearest sandwich. Now is the time to connect.

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