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Through my half opened, slightly crusty morning eyes, I open the refrigerator door for the fourth time, still hopeful that everything I need to make my lunch would throw itself at me. After the sixth time the fridge’s cool breath greets me, I begin to come out of my groggy state. Glancing at the clock, I realize that my ride to school leaves in twenty-five minutes and conclude that I better begin the beautiful art of making my lunch unless I want to walk to school. I swiftly toss spinach, mayonnaise and corned beef on the table. While getting the loaf of bread and plastic wrap, I begin to realize just how long I’ve been accustomed to making my own lunch.

For the past eleven years, making my lunch has been part of my daily routine, though it has become slightly more complex since discovering the endless possibilities of lunches to create, besides the trusty peanut butter sandwich. Walking into the lunch room my first day of first grade, I expected everyone else to have made their own lunch too. To my dismay no one else knew how to make their own lunch, let alone what was in their own lunch at that moment. Sitting on the lunch bench, swinging my legs, I couldn’t help but feel like an outsider, munching my peanut butter sandwich I created with care that morning. But, as I began to see my peers having mixed reactions about what their mother made them, some not even eating theirs, I began to realize that making my own lunch was a great thing, and there was no need to feel like an outsider. Though many of my peers today still have their mothers pack their lunches, I don’t feel as if I have missed out on anything. If anyone is missing out, it is them.

Though the task of making a lunch may seem incredibly insignificant, and while most six year olds would feel it as a burden to them, I feel pride in each and every sandwich I make. To me, every carefully wrapped peanut butter sandwich and container of apple sauce symbolizes independence and the responsibility I now carry. I am trusted to make the right decisions and accompany my turkey sandwich with peaches instead of Pop Rocks. That holds true the majority of the time unless I feel a bit rebellious and let a mini-Snickers bar sneak its way in. What ultimately matters most is that I have the power to choose what I eat while many of my peers, still as high school seniors, aren’t privileged with that independence. The seemingly small amount of independence and responsibility I gained from making my own nutritional decisions at an early age allows me to not only be confident in my actions and decisions throughout daily life, but also will allow me to adjust to the greater, newfound independence in college and in my future.
My lunch will always be more than just a lunch.



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