Joy: Served salty and fried

in Columnist: Godfrey Mpetey by
The following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Clarion, its staff or the institution. If you would like to submit a response or an opinion piece of your own, please contact Editor in Chief Abby Petersen at ajp87848@bethel.edu.

In the midst of my senior year of college, I reminisce on the greatest joys in my life: french fries.

By Godfrey Mpetey

As I stand on the fresh turf of Royal Stadium, I gaze at the trees outlining the stadium. The branches sway in the wind as the sun sets. While focusing on the peacefulness of the trees, I reminisce on life and where time has gone. Four years ago, I decided to attend Bethel University. In the turbulence of Welcome Week, I seek to find joy in my final year of college.

Entering my final year creates a cocktail of stress and anxiety. Throughout the years, I’ve juggled classes, work, relationships and football.

I dwell on when I was younger and times were simpler.

I’m transported to my family’s former townhouse in Eden Prairie.  At the tender age of 5, my father would prepare my outfit, schoolbag and breakfast in the morning.

“What do you want to eat?” asked my father.

Without any hesitation, I replied with an enormous “FRENCH FRIES!”

That’s right. At 5 years old, I had a helping of leftover McDonald’s french fries each morning. On occasion, my father would bring home Supersized McDonald’s fries and Chicken McNuggets. My siblings and I would feast upon the warm, salty and delightful taste. While I liked it at dinner, it tasted better in the morning.

I’m puzzled as to why my dad thought feeding his youngest child a bowl of fries was a good idea. It didn’t benefit me as I matured into a chubby elementary kid.

The aroma of the fried potatoes circulating through the microwave. The simplicity of the golden, crispy fries jump-started my mornings. While my father might regret his decision of feeding me fries for breakfast, I believe it was hard for him to turn me down.

The jubilance in my voice and the expression on my face was enough to make him pop those fries in the microwave. Back then, I didn’t have to wonder about jobs, school, relationships, faith or finances. All I was concerned about was snacking on some fries at 8 a.m.

Joy is what made it easy.

The joy of knowing I would wake up, eat fries and head to Cedar Ridge Elementary to color pictures with my kindergarten class filled my soul with an amount of joy I seek to find today.

In this upcoming semester, I hope to find my ‘french fries in the morning’ to revamp my joy throughout the obstacles the life throws at me. Find what little pockets of joy fill your life and make sure to reach for that joy when times are hard.

Godfrey Mpetey, 21, is our senior columnist for The Clarion. As a senior, Mpetey touches on current events such as politics, relationships, culture, music and sports from his own lens. Mpetey is a part of the Bethel Football team. His favorite topics stretch from social justice and activism to sports and music. His go-to news sources are The Ringer and Star Tribune.

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