Colleges in the middle of nowhere – there are a lot of them around the world. You love your school, you really do, but the surrounding environment (AKA the restaurant and bar scene) is really lacking. Small, remote schools foster a different kind of community feeling, one where the students really get to know each other and their professors.
But while there are a lot of pros, there are some cons too. The dining experience can go either way. So, here are all the experiences and feelings you know you have.
When the entire school is in the dining hall at once
You’re bound to run into the WORST dining hall goers, and even at a small school, it takes about 10 minutes to get any food.
When you see someone you know at a restaurant
Yeah, that hot boy from the hockey team sees you buying two bagels. And yeah, he knows they’re both for you.
When you see snapchats of Starbucks cups, but the nearest Starbucks to you is an hour away
If only I lived in California, where there’s a Starbucks truck.
When you wish you could take part in the Starbucks red cup controversy
I have opinions about the red cup, I want to share them!
When you walk through the dining hall with 2 plates of food and see everyone you have ever hooked up with
College students can seriously put away some food. So when you walk into the dining hall on Saturday morning looking like you just rose from the dead while carrying 2 plates of eggs, bacon and bagels, you can feel everyone staring at you.
When you wake up thinking about Chipotle
I’m what some would call a Chipotle addict. I actually consider myself a Chipotle connoisseur (it’s fancier). So when I wake up at noon on a Sunday and all I want in this godforsaken world is a burrito bowl, I remember that the nearest Chipotle location is an hour and a half drive from here. Then, I cry.
When you run out of your meal plan money and have to figure out smart ways to steal food from the dining hall
By finals week each semester, everyone is scraping by trying to figure out the cheapest ways to eat. Students may have to avoid the dining hall employees that they now probably know by name, but some of them have gotten pretty good at stealing.
When your parents come up to visit and they take you out to the only nice restaurant in town
Parents weekend means a swarm of families fighting for reservations at the few nice restaurants in town. There are a lot of great things about your parents coming to visit, but getting out of the dining hall and eating for free might be the best.
When you want to cry thinking about how tired you are of dining hall food, but have no other choices
It’s December and you’ve been at school for a little over three months. You’ve read and tried all the ideas for making the dining hall experience more exciting. All you want is the freedom to eat what you want, when you want, but your only options are the dining halls and cafes that you’ve been frequenting all semester. Sorry, but you don’t have any other choices.
When you leave campus to get food, and all the options scare you
Outside of campus, there are very few food options. Maybe a low-quality chain like McDonalds, but after reading that their food doesn’t rot after sitting out for two years, you’re a little turned off from it. Back to the drawing board (aka dining hall).
When you discover the dining hall makes a specific meal that tastes like mom makes
If your mom makes one meal that you miss almost as much as you miss Chipotle, you know how this feels. You walk into the dining hall, and see it sitting right in front of you. You tentatively put some on your plate, and when you try it, you’re shocked. This is literally what they say, just like mom makes. I could cry of happiness (and of homesickness).
When you get to go home to your favorite foods
Home! That means family, friends, pets, and your own bed. But most importantly? All your favorite foods whenever you want.
When you’re on break and imagine going back to school and the dining hall
You’re on vacation, loving life and saying screw you to the diet you tried so hard to keep going. Then, the thoughts of dining hall meals creep into the back of your mind, and you get very very sad.
When people ask you how you feel about going to school in the middle of nowhere
You chose your school for many reasons, one of them probably being the community feel. However, that community feeling is so strong because there’s nothing else around you. This includes good food. There’s always going to be those places that are staples of your small college town, but you just can’t compare to the big schools where you can eat at a different restaurant or dining hall every night for the entire semester. The options might be limited, but we ultimately power through.