The four stages of living without your meal plan

It’s the age old struggle between desire and restraint; temptation and wisdom. How is the average student supposed to budget $540 of food money when Chick-fil-a is so readily available at all times? Luckily for the Radford student body, I’m here to help. I went undercover (read: spent all my flex money a month ago) to discover what happens when your meal plan quits and your appetite doesn’t.

Step 1: Codependence

If you’re not the worst person in the world, chances are that there’s at least one person on campus who doesn’t want to watch you slowly die of starvation. In the cutthroat world of nutrition sans-flex plan, it’s imperative that you lose any reservations you have toward asking for handouts. Get familiar with the phrases “Hey bro, can I bum a swipe?,” “I have no money, any chance you can swipe for me?” and “I am financially destitute and historically bad with money management, please don’t let me die.” Friends truly are your greatest asset. In addition, a lot of free food is given out at the Bonnie, so hang around there a lot. Organizations are usually willing to bribe you for your attention.

Step 2: Bargaining

“Hey bro, can I bum a swipe?,” Photo from:

So your friends think you’re a bum now and they’re sick of covering for your wasteful habits. Maybe there’s something you can do for them? Helping your friends with a simple task in exchange for meal plan swipes is the oldest form of employment in recorded human history. It’s about time you gave back for all of the generosity that the people around you are bestowing upon you.

Step 3: Philanthropy

Speaking of giving back, how about putting some effort in to your community? To be clear, I believe it is every person’s duty to affect their environment in a positive way more often than they affect it in a negative way. The drive for philanthropy should always be present within the people in order to make the world a better place. However, from a logical standpoint, do you have any idea how much free pizza is given to volunteers on a regular basis? As a bonus round, if you put in the extra work and stay through the end of the project or event, they’ll leave the extra food out as fair game. That’s more food for future you!

Step 4: Acceptance

Look, you knew this was a losing battle from the start. No matter how hard you try, you can only live off of ramen and 7/11 microwaveable burritos for so long. Just put money on your flex plan. Give in to the allure of giving more money to the university, and try not to mess up again next semester (Read: bookmark this article for next semester when you inevitably make the same mistakes).