Well, its that time of year again. Birds are chirping, it’s getting warmer (kind of), the semester’s ending, and you’re out of dining dollars. Oh wait. You’re NOT out of dining? I didn’t realize that people aren’t out of dining by the end of March.

Kudos to you for being so financially stable. Especially at JMU where you’re surrounded by never ending possibilities to use your dining dollars.

Personally, Starbucks is the reason I declare dining dollars bankruptcy so early. For many others the culprit is Chick-Fil-A, maybe some late night vending machine cravings, and everyone knows if you frequent Mr. Chips you’re destined to be out early.


Image courtesy of tumblr.com

Truthfully, I don’t have any experience in the field of having ample dining dollars to spend. However, I am experienced in getting to a cash register at Market One and being told I owe $0.47 because a punch didn’t cover my food which leads me to holding up the line while I find some other form of payment to cover the nickels and dimes that my dining dollars couldn’t.

(Cruel punishment for getting an extra bag of apple slices so I have something other than chips to eat when my salad doesn’t fill me up. Come on JMU, ya girl’s just trying to be healthy.)

Anyway, instead of continuously telling you how I don’t spend the dining that I don’t have come April, I’m going to tell you everything I would spend my dining on, so you know what you can put all that extra dining towards. You know, if you even have any.

Finals Week Coffee


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It’s finals – we’re all burnt out, sleep-deprived, and calculating the lowest grade we can get on our finals to keep that B we’re just hanging onto. If you have dining dollars to blow, this is where you should spend them.

Keep yourself awake, keep your friends awake. When the Starbucks barista asks “Would you like an extra shot?” Say, “Yes, I would!” Splurge, baby, and study long enough to keep that B.

Chick-Fil-A Nugget Platters


Photo Courtesy of Sabina Tilevitz

This is a pretty obvious one. With extra dining I couldn’t think of a reason to not go nuts and get you and your friends a platter of juicy, delicious chicken nuggets. Honestly, you don’t even need your friends. I say get that platter and enjoy yourself. It’s your dining to spend and in the words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, “Treat yo’self.”

F’real Milkshakes at Mr. Chips


Photo courtesy of Jacob Bullington

For those of you who haven’t had a F’real milkshake you need to reconsider every choice you’ve made ever in your life. It’s not necessarily the taste of the milkshake that makes it such an overwhelming necessity, but the whole experience of it. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but it’s pretty exhilarating (and here are some of the best flavors to try). Check it out, it’s worth the dining.

Einstein Bagels


Photo courtesy of Adrianna Simeone

Fighting hunger is key to success during finals week. The second your stomach starts to growl you’ve lost because now the only thing you can think about is how hungry you are and that you should get something to eat. Not because you’re actually that hungry, but because convincing yourself you are and getting food are much better alternatives to studying.

So, if you have the dining to spend, spend it on a bagel at Einsteins. This way you’ll be full and focused through the morning to keep you studying until one of your friends suggests getting lunch.

Candy from The Student Success Center


Photo courtesy of Bonner Williams

$0.39 per ounce means that just $5.00 of dining will get you a large bag of your favorite candy that is bound to make your stomach hurt but will also give you the sugar rush you need to power through the end of this semester. This is, as the kids put it, a no brainer.

Use Dining for the Person In Front of You Whose Meal Goes Over by 47 Cents


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If you got it, flaunt it. Really though, just help out a fellow duke if you can spare the change. It’ll make the line move faster and karma will get you back later.

Happy dining dollars spending, folks.