Benefits of a Meal Plan

default article imageGoing to college earns you a one-way ticket to a life time of responsibility, at least for the time being while you’re away from home. 

Without the watchful eyes of your doting parents, you are expected to keep up with all the ins and outs of your life at school, whether that be the cleanliness of your living space, your time management or your health. 

So what happens when you need to feed yourself?  Mom and dad aren’t going to cook for you but you do have someone else on campus who will.  That’s where having a meal plan comes in.

I’m a senior here at Monmouth and I can say without shame that I still have a meal plan while living in the Garden apartments.  Even with full access to a kitchen, I know I don’t have the time, patience or quite frankly the ability to cook for myself.  I’m not a five-star chef who can make about a million different dishes to satisfy whatever craving it is that I’m having that day. I can make a mean pancake, throw together just about any sandwich and on occasion, make a stir fry that even my parents approve of. 

With only just a handful of things in my food portfolio, I don’t have the time to master more dishes while I’m creating my work portfolio.  So keeping my meal plan even with the access to a kitchen just seemed right for me.

Meal plans aren’t just ideal for time or skill level.  To all the freshmen out there reading this, please take my advice. 

Going to the dining hall with a group of people to grab dinner is one of the easiest ways to make connections and find the ones you click with.  There’s just something about food that brings people together and the dining hall, or even the student center food court, is no exception.

I cannot even count the amount of meals I’ve shared with friends in the dining hall, some sharing more significance than others.  My best friend and I really sealed the deal with our friendship the semester we had our twice a week breakfast dates.  You just can’t create the same moments with a granola bar on your way to class. 

While you do find yourself owing a pretty penny in order to keep your meal plan, I find it to be less of a hassle compared to sifting through your wallet to make sure you have enough money to afford your lunch.  Meal plans provide the effortless swipe that just may be the saving grace during a rotten day.  Who wants to spend time worrying about money on top of all the studying you have to do for that midterm?  

I’m a strong advocate for meal plans and will continue to be until the day I graduate.  They make the transition into college and the overall upkeep of your life a lot simpler.  Whatever side you take, I think it’s safe to say we can all agree that nothing can beat a home cooked meal.  For now though, the dining hall will do just fine.