Berkeley students know that meal points can be used for far more than just meals at the dining halls. I tend to spend way too much money on food and coffee, so meal points were essential my freshman year. I wasn't ready to give them up as a sophomore, so I didn't. Here's why investing in a non-residential meal plan is a great decision. 

Peet's is life  

coffee, ice, milk, cream, sweet
Jessica Yeh

Berkeley's partnership with Peet's Coffee not only makes it nearly impossible to avoid, but also saves you the trek down to Starbucks. If you never have time to steep your own cold brew for a hot day, don't have an espresso machine, or simply wake up too late to make your own coffee, there's always a Peet's on the way to class. 

Bear Market snacks for the win  

Jessica Yeh

As a proud former resident of Unit 3, Bear Market was my place. Large bags of kettle corn, late night Skittles, crunchy peanut butter, Ben & Jerry's — the works. For me, Bear Market remains my one-stop shop for all the essentials. 

Quick, easy on-campus meals 

vegetable, tomato, pepper, guacamole
Jessica Yeh

If I didn't have meal points, I would probably eat out on Telegraph every single time I couldn't make it back home, which would be both time-consuming and expensive. With GBC's burrito bowls and wraps, I can get a quick, satisfying meal for the hour-long break between classes without having to keep a close eye on how much I'm spending.

The beauty of late night

bacon, meat, pork, sauce
Jessica Yeh

Crossroads' late night menu was not something I was ready to give up at the end of my freshman year. Where else can you get waffles, fried chicken, and grilled cheese on a Wednesday at 1:30 in the morning?

While it's true that you can spend actual money at these on-campus eateries, with all the things I already swipe my debit card for, it's nice to have a meal point balance to keep my outside food spending in check. So, if you're thinking about getting meal points after moving out of the dorms, remember that it's not just for freshmen.