The transition from high school to college can be frightening for students. For many, it will be the time where they are exposed to a range of experiences including living away from parents, managing their own day-to-day lives, and surviving the rigorous academic curriculum. With so many challenges, it is essential that students find a school that can provide them with comfort. And all across our society, good food is considered one of the most essential comforts of them all.
There are many people who claim that food should not be a major factor in a student’s decision on which college or university to attend. These people generally focus on a school’s academic characteristics and often disregard the school’s food menu completely. However, multiple problems can occur when new college freshmen step onto campus for the first time and find the school’s food totally disagreeable to their personal appetites.
First off, a student might obtain bad eating routines by shying away from the school cafeteria and instead loading up on alternative options like instant noodles and chips. Whether they eat very little and snack out during late night study sessions or choose to skip meals entirely, students develops eating routines that over time can be detrimental to both their health and academic performance.
A student’s rejection of school food can have a financial impact as well. Because most of schools’ tuitions cover meals, students who choose to eat out instead of dining on campus are essentially paying money for a wasted resource. In addition, frequent restaurant dining can make it difficult for a student to return to the much less extravagant cafeteria food and as a result, over time, the often pricier out-of-campus options can tempt students into spending much more than they would like to on dining.
Finally, the realization that one must spend the next four years stuck with unpleasant school cafeteria food can wear a person down emotionally. For many people, the excitement of a coming meal and the enjoyment of eating is often seen as the highlight of a day. Eating has come to be associated into many aspects of our lives, whether it be a tool friends use to spend time together, a method used to deal with stress, or an energizer used to give the motivation needed to finish a project or activity. Consequently, if students dislike the food on campus and are powerless to change what they are offered, this knowledge can be enough to dampen their overall college experience.
By settling down on the decision to attend a particular college or university, students are not just choosing their future learning grounds, but choosing their home for the next four years as well. If they disregard the school’s food, they run the risk of entrapping themselves in a situation that can be detrimental to their overall college experiences. Whether we acknowledge it or not, food is home.