Your first few weeks of freshman year there is nothing more magical than the dining hall. With a swipe of your student ID you are allowed to enter a room full of endless freedom and choice. A place that would horrify your mother if she saw the way you nourish yourself while on your own. A place that holds so much promise.
Then, after a few months, the magic fades. You don’t know how or why this has happened but you suddenly don’t want to be there anymore. What once was a magical wonderland of culinary experimentation is now a torturous wasteland. So how exactly does this shift happen? Slowly and progressively over the semester, and it happens to everyone in pretty much the same way.
The first time you enter the dining hall, you swear you can hear angels sing, it’s that amazing
You want to throw a party to celebrate your transcendence from human form to a higher level of being that can only exist in this all you can eat heaven
For weeks, even months, it is great. You challenge yourself to try new things. You fall in love with foods you didn’t even knew existed: because you just created them
Just the idea of “build your own pizza” night has you delirious
Then, one day, when your hallmates ask you if you wanna head to dinner, even though you are starving, this is your reply
Did I just say that?!
The thought of eating in the dining hall is boring and makes you feel a little sick. You decide to eat some of the Easy Mac you keep in your room and then head to the gym. You’re starting to notice some extra pounds from the Sunday morning waffle bar.
You continue to drag yourself to the dining hall because you have so many swipes and no money. But you enter reluctantly and with caution.
Your friends think you’re crazy at first, but then one by one they start to agree with you: this place is terrible
One night you accidentally drag your tired, weary bodies to the dining hall closest to your dorm and the most dreaded thing happens: it’s a theme night. Everything is strawberry flavored.
You come back to your room and your roommate is chomping on a Chipotle burrito they snagged on their way back from swim practice
You start going home, or going home with your roommate just for the home cooked food. You’ve never loved your parents more.
The year finally ends, your swipes are gone, and you can’t wait to move into your own apartment so you can cook for yourself. But it doesn’t go as planned.
You see the freshman heading there after class and start to romanticize the memory of cereal for dinner and ice cream sandwiches before bed. It was a simpler, happier time.
So you convince one of the freshman in your study group to swipe you in, and after finishing your dorm burrito you are brought back to the harsh reality
You’re better off without the dining hall. As much as you wish you didn’t have to cook for yourself.
How do you feel about the dining hall?
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