New Student Dining Plan is a Win! (OPINION)

It was a pretty annoying concept for me to adjust to. No more walks to class with scalding cups of coffee, no more trays made to fit two plates and a drink in one trip to the dining tables. Even worse, I have to eat a good amount of my lunches alone now — smack in the middle of the diner–where everybody can see (but probably aren’t even looking).

But it’s been three weeks, and I can wholeheartedly admit that I now welcome this year’s new dining plan with open arms.

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Courtesy: photography by Julia Heimlich

Last year, eating the diner food was a chore for me. Even living right next to the place didn’t help. The food was crappy, repetitive and often times, I wasn’t even sure what was on my plate. I didn’t want greasy food at 9 p.m., but pizza and mozzarella sticks were practically my only options.

The food has variety now. There are no more lines. And best of all, the diner has completely transformed my entire mealtime experience.

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Courtesy: photography by Julia Heimlich

Pre-dining change, I would slump to the diner every day, carry my food up to my room and pretty much keep to myself in my dorm for a good half hour or so, as I hastily finished up.

I can distinctly recall my mom asking me, on multiple occasions, why I didn’t make dinner an event, like she did with her friends when she was in college.

As cliche as it may sound, I’m being serious when I say that I now look forward to my dinners as a time I get to spend catching up with my friends.

I thought I enjoyed carrying pay-by-the-dollar, mediocre sandwiches back to my room. I was wrong.

Courtesy: photography by Julia Heimlich

My dinners give me a great excuse to meet up with people: people I went to high school with, people I haven’t seen in awhile, people who live all the way across campus, the list goes on.

My relationships with students are flourishing more than ever. And as I continue my sophomore year, I will accredit this flourishing, in part, to the simple idea of sitting side-by-side, with quality food and quality conversation, next to my good friends.