If you are reading this, either you have nothing else to do, or you’re living on campus with a meal plan, which you definitely should. My freshman year, I lived on campus with a meal plan. It saved me so much time with cooking and cleaning dishes, not to mention it’s a lot healthier than pasta and ramen every day.
The Petersen Heritage Center (PHC) has fairly fresh food every day, though I’d be wary of the lettuce and other salad fixings, they were not always the best. That said, if they look good, it can be very beneficial to have some salad or fruit.
On the less heathy side, the grill section ended up being my favorite place to get food. It takes a little bit of time, but having a nice double cheeseburger with lettuce, red onions, and a glass of root beer is a star meal after classes.
Speaking of drinks, there are a fairly wide variety. Along with sodas the PHC also offers milk and lemonade. In terms of desserts, there is a soft serve ice cream machine available every day, and sometimes they have cakes, cookies, and other pastries too.
There’s also a sandwich station with a panini press, sushi (also made fresh), vegan options, and a rotation of other foods. This includes pasta and sauce, taco salad, tacos, sausages and hotdogs, roast chicken, and build your own lo mein. One of my favorite foods to get, when it was served, was Italian sausage with rice. This station often has rotating food so it changes daily to keep life interesting.
What doesn’t change is the pizza. There’s also pizza, by the way, which is surprisingly good. It isn’t ‘The Pie’ quality, but it’s still good.
You’ll probably find your favorites within the first few weeks of staying on campus, but this is a perfect time to try something new and different — and if you don’t like it, get something else.
My one word of pure advice is to look at the meal plans and really think about how much you’re going to need. I had the 21 meals a week plan my first semester, assuming that I would for sure be eating lunch/breakfast every day. Sadly, with a 9 o’ clock class and a need for sleep I never really had breakfast. As for lunch, I never actually went back up to the PHC. Instead, I used my transfer meals and flex dollars at places like the Miller cafe and the Union, which are both great options.
Evaluate how much you think you’ll need and if it’s too much, just change it up next semester. The dorms require different amounts of meal coverage depending on where you live. Basically, there are two types of plans: weekly and block. A weekly plan gives you a number of meals a week 21, 18, 15, or 10. The block plans give you a number of meals for the semester 150 or 40. Some dorms have kitchens in your apartment while others have communal kitchens and some class schedules don’t really allow you to be on campus in the middle of the day. All plans also come with some form of dining dollars which are like a credit card on your Ucard. These can be used at the union, in mom’s cafe and even at the campus store. Unfortunately, they cannot buy you Starbucks, Jamba or Einsteins.
Anyways, I hope this helped you out in any way. I know this is a stressful, but just remember to eat and sleep. Find what works for you and you’ll do fine.