In his 15-part series, Matt Flocco gives freshmen a slice of wisdom each week.
Most freshmen have a ridiculously overpriced meal plan, so definitely take full advantage of all that the Student Center has to offer. But for those who don’t have a meal plan, or still want to do some basic grocery shopping for that tiny little refrigerator, here are some tips of the trade.
An essential staple to the college diet is caffeine – get used to it. Caffeine, however, does not mean a $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks or Saxbys. While both establishments are great places to hang on campus, if you’re a frequent coffee guzzler, you’ll run out of money quickly and then will cry when you don’t have $5 to front at frat parties.
I recommend going to 7-Eleven, where you can get a huge coffee for half the price of the trendier coffee establishments, or an Arizona Ice Tea for one dollar. If you’re really ambitious, you can buy your own coffee and – dare I say it – make it. Then you can come over to my house and teach me.
Speaking of making things…don’t be the person who burns popcorn in the residence halls. Why do I even bother? We know you’ll do it anyway. It’s all a part of the experience. We’ve all been there. But just make sure you’re the one laughing at the one who burned it.
If you’re looking for cheap food in general, your best bet is 7-Eleven – better known as “Sev” – or fast food, Chinese or pizza places located off-campus. You can also get some really great food on campus for a pretty good price at the 12th Street Food Pad next to the TECH Center.
If you’re looking for cheap food that won’t give you a heart attack, there’s a dollar aisle in Fresh Grocer that has cereal, canned fruit, crackers, drink mixes and a whole lot more.
If you really want to get better eating habits, do what works for you as a freshman. Some tips that work for me – at least when I follow through with them – are to eat smaller portions, or to cut back on soda. Maybe pack some healthy snacks and eat a few of those throughout the day, as opposed to huge meals.
Be advised, if you are one of those people who is really afraid of gaining the freshman 15, don’t eat too late at night. That’s what will get you. If you don’t care, get your butt over to Insomnia Cookies right now and get some of those. They’re better than cheesesteaks.
Everyone reacts differently to the freedoms that college foods afford. Some of you will gain weight, some of you will lose it and some of you will fluctuate back and forth. If you gain a few pounds, do not obsess over it. You probably still look great. In fact, I’m checking you out right now as you read the paper about 10 yards away.
Made you look.
Matt Flocco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.