Let’s be honest, our on-campus food sucks. Since living off campus, I’ve been able to establish much healthier eating habits because I’m finally not restricted to just on-campus dining services.

At Plattsburgh State, freshmen are required to eat on campus with the Anytime Dining + $125 meal plan. This allows you to eat anytime at Clinton, Algonquin and Lil Al’s with an additional 30 Express dollars and 95 dining dollars. However, with those, you are pretty much forced to eat at the dining halls.

The dining halls are where the freshman-15 comes from. Even though Clinton may look prettier then it did last year, healthy food options still aren’t a priority. Every day the wonderful smell of double cheeseburgers, pizza and French fries fill the air, and it’s hard to say no. I think that our school should do a better job at making these options hard to find.

In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Education and Behavior, 600 college students, mostly freshman, were asked about their eating habits. It was determined that most of them weren’t eating even one serving of fruits or vegetables a day. Vegetables and healthy food choices should be the first thing college students should see when walking into dining halls.

My favorite place to eat on campus is Little Al’s. Even though it’s similar to Subway, the meat is healthier and less processed. Also, when you go to Subway with the freshman meal plan you have to choose from their retail meals, so it’s restrictive. At Lil Al’s, you can get a different artisan sandwich every day. It counts as unlimited dining, and the sandwiches are delicious. Getting your sandwich toasted may be the best part. The melted cheese makes every sandwich mouthwatering.

If you are sick of swiping at dining halls thankfully the freshman meal plan offers you $30 for Express and 95 dining dollars to last you the whole semester. That was sarcasm of course. Thirty dollars at Express can buy you about two packs of water and maybe a pack of gum. 95 dining dollars can actually last you for a while if you’re smart about it. I used to just get little items like breakfast sandwiches or coffee from Tim Hortons, Griddles or Einsteins a couple times a week to make my money last.

My best advice for anyone who’s sick of on-campus dining and not a freshman is choose the cheapest meal plan. When you do that take the extra money that you would’ve spent on a meal plan and load up your Cardinal Cash. With Cardinal Cash, you can eat off campus at places like Olive Ridleys, 20 Below Deli and Sawatdee (my favorite restaurant in town.)

Email Tracey Fox at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

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