Sometimes we just need to hear that sonorous shout throughout the house that “dinner’s ready.”  Sometimes we just need to help our parents set the table with symmetrical sets of placemats and silverware.  Sometimes we just need someone to know exactly how we like our Chicken Parmesan cooked, so we can just sit on the couch and wait.  Sometimes, though, we need a change of pace.  Although the allure of approaching home-cooked meals powers many through the hectic week before spring break, these formal sit-downs with the family can quickly become trite.  But when your stomach starts to rumble as you approach campus all too soon after break, there’s no need to look back on the home-cooked meals with nostalgia.  There’s nothing like a campus-cooked meal.

Photo by Peter Yu

Without family in reach, the advantages of your dining experience can actually increase.

For instance, you don’t need to wait for your food to cook. When the hunger is real, impatience can take over.  With the superpower of the swipe in the palm of your hand, one card provides convenience at relatively cheap prices in many different locations.

The constant supply of food. Food, food everywhere you look.  Buffets provide an all-access pass to an unlimited variety of food, resembling the amount of food present at a celebrity get-together.

Photo by Peter Yu

They serve food until 1 am. No college student takes for granted the fourth meal served late at night, which is justwhen you’re craving something else to eat.  Plus, if you look at a to-go box just right, it can look just like your bed and a night of Netflix.

You don’t have to go shopping. Just a short walk from your dorm, the dining halls are a hub to run into friends and avoid the small talk that awaits you with your parents at the kitchen table at home.

As for the apartment dwellers without necessarily the luxuries of the dining halls like the underclassmen, there are still a multitude of reasons to look forward to eating on campus again.

Photo by Peter Yu

You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. No more waiting for “dinner time.” Enough said.

Eating can become a cultural experience. If your roommate likes to cook, your apartment already comes equipped with a personal chef. Also, since you meet such diverse people in college, your friends can expose you to different meals you wouldn’t have regularly tried at home.

From getting cheap prices to gaining a cultural perspective, you may never want to go home again.

Photo by Peter Yu