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What’s in? Existentialism and chicken Caesar salads


I believe that life’s meaning is derived from the value we give it. No, I won’t bore you with existentialism in this article; however, I’ve been giving my life meaning this past week with one thing: bag lunch. 


Now, you may be wondering — what does bag lunch have to do with giving life meaning? It is not the bag lunch itself that’s “in” for me this week; it’s what bag lunch allows me to do in between classes that brings me joy. 


After my 9:00 a.m. — Modern Philosophy, for those wondering — I walk to Buntrock to pick up a bag lunch. My usual order: chicken Caesar salad, lemonade, whatever cookie is offered, Doritos, and a banana. My next class isn’t until 12:55 p.m., so I take my lunch back to Larson where my two-and-a-half-hour study session ensues. 


My bag lunch is the only consistent part of my study sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Whether I’m reading “Macbeth,” writing an essay about suffering in “Mrs. Dalloway” for Enduring Questions, or distracting myself on social media, I know my lunch will accompany me. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this now, at my desk, with my chicken Caesar salad to my left; I’ve just taken a bite of its crunchy goodness.


Perhaps you’re a nihilist — makes sense if you don’t get bag lunches. Sure, the salad’s croutons are always a little soggy, and yeah, sometimes the cookies have raisins in them, but it’s packaged so perfectly to throw in my backpack that I feel that my life has been given a new agency. I can eat when I want to instead of being bound to the ticking clock of lukewarm food slowly becoming cold. 


So, for me, bag lunch and study time is “in” this week, and you can bet it will be “in” for the rest of the semester. 

Kaya Stark is from Wrenshall, Minn.

Her majors are English and philosophy.