Meal plan be gone

Caitlyn Hansbury, Opinions Editor

When looking at a college or university, a few of the main things prospective students think about is academic programs, what the dorms look like, and how good the food is. Although many campuses boast about their strong academic programs and new and modern dorm rooms, not many campuses brag about their dining halls. In fact, a major complaint from many college students across the country is that the food at their school is not very good. However, at Roger Williams, our dining commons is one of our many claims to fame, as our food is delicious, we have plenty of options, and its quite convenient for students to access.

Despite our dining halls being amazing, I have only eaten in them approximately four times this semester. As crazy as it sounds, the explanation is quite simple – I do not have a meal plan. As an upperclassman, meal plans are not required if living in certain residence halls such as Bayside, North Campus Apartments, or Almeida Apartments due to our access to a full kitchen. This semester, I decided to get rid of my meal plan in an attempt to save some money and have a little bit more independence. Although I occasionally miss going to Upper, especially on mac and cheese day, I love not having a meal plan. Obviously, there are both pros and cons to not having a meal plan so I have decided to share some with you.  


Pro – Being able to eat on your own schedule

It’s no secret that sometimes it is tricky to get into Commons at a time that is convenient for you, whether it’s due to a night class, a lab that goes through the entire lunch period, or just back to back classes. I have days that if I had to rely on a meal plan, I would not be eating due to my busy schedule of back to back classes. Since I do not have a meal plan, I am able to pack my lunch and snacks to take with me to ensure that I am eating throughout the day.


Con – Having to grocery shop every week

Although I enjoy being able to eat on my own schedule, one of the biggest pains of not having a meal plan is having to go grocery shopping. Although many people absolutely detest going to the grocery store, I actually enjoy it as I usually go with a roommate or a friend. For me, the part that is the biggest pain is knowing that if I forget to go to the store then I don’t have anything to eat.



Pro – Being able to cook my own meals

One of the biggest things I missed about living in South campus as a freshman and sophomore was being able to cook. Although I am not out there competing on Top Chef, I enjoy cooking my own meals. Having to rely on myself to make my own meals is an added responsibility I have taken on and have loved every second of. It has given me the ability to change my diet as I please and try out new recipes every now and then.


Con – Missing out on the convenience of a dining hall on campus

Even though I truly love being able to cook for myself, there are some days when I just don’t feel like cooking. I miss the convenience of simply walking up the hill to Upper enjoy a ready-made meal cooked by the wonderful staff of Upper Commons.

Not having a meal plan this semester has truly made this semester than any of my past years here at Roger Williams. It has forced me to accept the responsibility of grocery shopping, preparing for meals, and budgeting my money to ensure I have enough for my weekly groceries. The best part of not having a meal plan, however, is having access to an oven to bake as many chocolate chip cookies as my heart desires.