You’re better off without a meal plan

Remember students cheering when they found out that Salsaritas was getting replaced by Austin Grill? What fools they were to think its replacement would be any better. They sacrificed delicious queso for half-decent burgers and their digestive systems reject it all the same.

The same could be said about just about everything on campus, right? How many times has Dalton been the butt of a joke? How many people scoffed at the idea of the Dalton Dash until they experienced it? One can’t even properly boycott a controversial food chain on campus without sacrificing a third of their diet.

Eating on campus is definitely a waste of money and flavor. Graphic by Samantha Rorke.
Eating on campus is definitely a waste of money and flavor. Graphic by Samantha Rorke.

With such a limited diversity in an on-campus diet, eating well is near impossible and becomes repetitive after the first few weeks.  At least Au Bon Pain offers the façade of autonomy in their menu.

Then there’s Sunday: the day of the week where everything but Dalton is closed and you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place deciding whether to spend your money and get Subway or save your money and subject yourself to the worst kind of torture.

It’s easy to look at Virginia Tech and shed a tear in agony at what kind of menu Radford University could have, but VT has close to four times the student population and they pay a lot more tuition. You get what you pay for.

Your best bet would be to live off campus and just skip the meal plan altogether. Learn to cook, stock up on Ramen, do whatever you have to do. You can take the opportunity and become a master chef or make the world’s best Easy Mac. You’ll save money and you won’t be ingesting gallons of trans fat (unless you want to, of course).

The Flex plan costs $1,785 per semester. Given about four months per semester, that’s about $446 a month, or about $111 a week. That’s insane. Going without a meal plan saves a ton of money and still leaves plenty of room to drop by Chick-Fil-A on days you’re too lazy to cook.

Whether it’s the weight control that you care about or the taste of the food, a little work preparing food yourself beats a campus meal any day.