One thing that became glaringly obvious while being at Ithaca College is that I had terrible eating habits. Some of those habits stemmed from high school. My boarding school only had 2 meals on the weekends: brunch and dinner, and others stemmed from my impatience with waiting in lines.
There have been a lot of changes to dining at the college. Before, it was very easy to eat at Towers Dining hall — now Towers Marketplace — or to eat late-night dining at the Terrace Dining Hall. Late night is something I’ll miss dearly, now I have to make sure I eat at conventional times. Rest in peace SubConnect, that was the place for my late-night snacking as well. The Campus Center was the easy and obvious place for me to eat while living in the upper quads. However, despite the ease and closeness that eating at the Campus Center Dining Hall (CCDH) provided … The lines and overcapacity were nauseating.
If I swiped into the CCDH and there was no place to sit, I couldn’t just leave. I only had 14 swipes and I didn’t want to waste a single one.
A lot of my problems with dining stemmed from the money standpoint. For a long time, I had 14 swipes a week. This is back when you had a choice and not everyone had an unlimited meal plan. It meant more Bonus Bucks (now known as Bomber Bucks) for less cost. My mom told me I shouldn’t worry about the money part of college, but I do. I always have. I wanted to minimize that cost in any way possible. So it was easier to eat two meals a day, seven days a week than it was to have an unlimited meal plan. I planned out my meals more and I wasn’t eating breakfast.
It didn’t matter as much my sophomore and junior year of college because I was a residential assistant and it was covered. Though it was something I thought about a lot. I always thought about when I would eat in between classes, when was the best time to go and the lines weren’t busy, when was the proper time to go to the omelet bar. I also started eating breakfast because people say it’s the most important meal of the day.
As a senior, I still have a meal plan, but it’s the off-campus meal plan with five swipes a week. I specifically chose it because of my schedule and the amount of time I spend on campus. Lunch has been kind of harder for me to get down but I have been making myself breakfast and dinner almost every day.
If I could bestow any wisdom of what I know or tips and tricks to make dining and meals a little easier at Ithaca here’s what they’d be:
Download GET Mobile
I know another app, but this one is a lifesaver. For people who only have a certain number of meal swipes, it tells you when the swipes refresh and how many you’ve spent. More importantly, though, it tells you what number of Bomber Bucks you have so you can be more conservative with the amount you have.
Don’t get lunch at noon on Tuesday and Thursday
Noon on Tuesday and Thursday is the common hour, every single person on campus is free at this time. I would avoid going at this time as much as possible.
Check the menu online before you go
My friend does this before we eat anywhere. Now it might not always be correct, but it’s good to have an idea of whether or not you like anything there.
Don’t be afraid to eat alone
If anything, just bring some headphones and watch an episode of your favorite show or listen to music, but please don’t skip meals because you’re afraid to eat alone. Eating is super important and so is your relationship with food, try to nurture that relationship and cultivate it. I know it can be difficult and sometimes it feels easier to not eat at all, but please eat. Your body will thank you.