I remember the first time I ate in a college cafeteria. I was visiting a prospective campus with my Dad and part of our tour provided us with a lunch in the lower level of the (then) student union building. I noted that there wasn't a whole lot of difference between my high school cafeteria and this college's eating facilities. Maybe the kids were older and the tables and food offerings were a bit different, but overall things weren't much more exciting, as I had anticipated.
A couple decades later, when we took our first born to tour colleges, I was shocked to see how far the art of collegiate food service had come. The atmosphere was almost that of a restaurant, or at least a snazzy sidewalk cafe. There were several serving lines, each featuring various entrees, desserts, and beverages. A small army of courteous servers eagerly offered their goodies to ravenous, upbeat undergraduates. What a contrast to my tour lunch, where I stood in line like a boot camp recruit and slid components of the lunch of the day (no substitutions, thank you) onto my well worn tray. Just like high school.
So, those of you who are headed to your freshman year this fall will have to make a choice about meal plans. Most colleges offer at least several options. I've noticed that many college students tend to skip breakfast. That's not hard to understand. Why eat when sleep will do?
In any event, you may be wondering how to go about choosing the best and most cost-effective plan for your needs. There's certainly no shortage of information on that topic out there. Just Google "college meal plans" and see for yourself. One excellent article that I found is How To Select the Best College Meal Plan by Kelci Lynn. Here are a few excerpts:
How To Select the Best College Meal Plan