If you're a freshman at Boston College who is just as confused as I was by our dining program, then this article is for you. Don't know what money is spent where? Worrying that you'll run out? As a proper BC foodie, I will provide for you the ins and outs of Boston College dining. 

Let's start with the basics: every semester you are allocated precisely $2429 dining dollars and $175 residential dining bucks which have specific locations to be spent, based on the Mandatory Meal Plan required for freshman. Although there are alternative plans offered for juniors and seniors, this plan is pretty standard for freshman and sophomore year.  The one downfall to the meal plan: you don't get any of the money back at the end of the school year no matter how much you have left, so be sure to treat your friends to dinner if you can!

The meal plan is pretty confusing at first, so I'm here to help explain what took me months to figure out after aimlessly swiping my Eagle ID and praying there was still money on it. (talk about #brokecollegestudent)

Residential Mandatory Meal Plan

Luckily for BC students, $2429 can go a long way at the many mandatory meal plan dining halls. I won't lie, not everything they have is appetizing but there are staples in each of the dining halls that will have you coming back for more.

Stuart Dining Hall:

tea, mocha, espresso, cappuccino, sweet, chocolate, milk, cream, coffee
Scott Harrington

Okay Newtonites, this one's for you! Some believe that Stuart has better food than Upper Campus due to the law students that reside on Newton Campus as well. Stuart has a selection of fresh smoothies in the morning that make Upper kids super jealous. There are also yummy panini sandwiches nightly that are reminiscent of the amazing selections at Eagle's Nest. Stu also gives you access to a mini Chocolate Bar! 

Carney / Mac:

garlic, mozzarella, cheese
Katie Hopkins

Unarguably the most convenient dining hall for those that live on Upper Campus or CoRo. Recently they've been putting a healthy spin on their food by introducing açaí bowls, quinoa bowls, etc. But hands down the best thing at Mac is their selection at Late Night. With mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, fries, or a combination of everything, Mac's Late Night will secure its permanent place in your heart.

Corocan Commons / Lower:

bread, chicken quesadilla, pancake, vegetable, meat
Wendy Zhou

Consider Lower dining hall Mac's more popular older brother. Choices like quesadillas, delicious steak and cheese subs, and individual pizzas at dinner and/or late night, make Lower a preferred option. They also have an extensive salad bar for when you're on a health kick. Lower is the main dining hall for pretty much everyone on lower campus so expect longer lines than Mac. But you'll have no problem kicking back and relaxing after waiting in line with Lower's ample seating and fireplace.

The Loft at Addie's:

chicken, vegetable, meat
Emma Delaney

Addie's is the hidden gem of Boston College dining halls. Located on the second floor of Lower, Addie's is a mostly student-run dining hall. Addie's has many great options like paninis, salads, and soups, but people trudge down, and then back up, the Million Dollar Stairs for the meatballs, flatbreads, and milkshakes sold at Addie's. And in case the food isn't enticing enough, Addie's focuses on serving local and sustainable foods, so you can eat your dinner while feeling good about it. Go you! 

Eagles Nest:

seafood, pepper, chicken, sauce, pork, meat, rice, vegetable
Hattie Swank

Often shortened to "Eagles" by students, this is the premier lunch spot on campus. Regrettably, Eagles is not open on the weekends so you learn to cherish the weekday lunches that much more. My go-to lunch at Eagles is relatively new and has people raving about it. The concept bowl is a healthy, protein-filled lunch option that helps get me through my business law lectures with a full tummy.

#SpoonTip: the lines at Eagles are always crazy right after classes end, so you can miss the lines by heading over around 15 minutes after class ends. 

Lyons Dining Hall (aka The Rat):

vegetable, meat, tortellini, pasta, sauce, cheese, macaroni
Emily King

Don't fret, this dining hall does not have rats. In fact, it was recently re-done in 2016, making it the newest and cleanest dining hall on campus. Thursdays are by far the craziest day at The Rat as the employees race to replace the empty trays of macaroni and cheese. The Rat isn't the only place on campus to find yourself indulging in some mouth-watering Mac n' Cheese, though, so be sure to try them all. 

Charity Donations:

If you haven't experienced the hecklers asking you to donate to one of the many service programs at Boston College yet, your time will come. The people are well-meaning but let's face it, they can get pretty annoying. If you're like me and are searching for a way to get rid of your residential meal plan, this is a great way to do so while helping out your classmates. Many programs base their fundraising off of these efforts, so contributing if you can really is worthwhile

Residential Dining Bucks:

If you're feeling overwhelmed by our dining options, it's natural. Lucky for you, the list of places you can spend your $175.00 residential dining bucks is much smaller. And if you're like me and you spend these bad boys quickly, you can always get more food by adding Eagle Bucks to your Eagle ID on the Agora Portal. 

Hillside Cafe:

bacon, potato, hash
Emma Devlin

Located in Maloney Hall, Hillside is a fan favorite among students and teachers alike. With amazing hash browns for breakfast and a wide selection of paninis at lunchtime, Hillside is a great go-to. It also houses a small Starbucks so you can grab your drink of choice on the way to class. Chances are you'll always find something that looks amazing at Hillside. 

The Chocolate Bar:

cookie, chocolate
Audrey Jones

Located in Stokes and only open during the week, the Chocolate Bar serves some of the best coffee on campus. They also serve up some delicious chocolatey options. Go for the giant chocolate chip cookie, it's the best thing to eat after an ugly Chem test or when you're just in the mood for an indulgent treat (which is me most of the time).    

On the Fly:

Becky Hughes

This is where most of my residential dining dollars were spent throughout the semesters. With one location right next to Carney and the other tucked away behind Addie's, On the Fly provides you with all of your snack foods you may need throughout the week. Most notably, they sell Ben and Jerry's at these shops that help my roommates and I get through any situation. Check out On the Fly whenever you need a quick, healthy snack or a stress-induced pint of Ben and Jerry's. 

Conte Forum/ Alumni Stadium:

bird, water, wine
Virginia Dodenhoff

I was surprised to find out you can spend any of your meal plan at either of these locations, but now you know if you get a craving for that buttery popcorn or a hot dog while watching a riveting Boston College sporting event, you can use your Eagle ID to satisfy that craving. 

Vending Machines in Libraries or Dorms:

coffee, beer, tea
Lily Stephens

These are prevalent around campus and come in handy when you need a quick study snack but forgot to snag something from your dorm beforehand! #SpoonTip: the vending machines for the athletes in Conte have the BEST food, so if you're a NARP definitely try and sneak your way in there to try them. 

Alright Eagles, there you have it. A full rundown of the many delicious options you can spend your meal plan money on. All of the walking you'll be doing around campus will cancel out that Freshman 15, so eat up!