Dining hall survival

One month into school and having consumed roughly 90 meals in the dining hall, I have discovered that I am useless even in the one skill I have always relied on: eating.

Regardless, here are a few pieces of advice on how you, dear reader, can master the art of eating in the dining hall.

1.) Do not flamboyantly steal the fruit.

Technically, it isn’t stealing because you did pay $7.50 for it but people tend to frown upon you nonetheless when you cram three apples, two bananas and an orange into your bag and nonchalantly dragging it away. What may ensue is a lunch lady stalking and hunting you down.

It is best to take all the fruit into a nearby booth and then arrange it in your bag there.

2.) Do not eat the stir-fry four times a day.

You may love the teriyaki sauce, but it does not love you. However, it does love your ass and will seek refuge there if you continue to eat it.

3.) When the lady at the front swipes your card, do you ever really think each swipe means one meal gone? If so, then stop reading and go use up your meals.

For those who do not think about these things, this is for you: you may find yourself on a Friday waiting to get in the dining hall, when the lunch lady utters the five words that you, as a student on the 14-meal plan, never want to hear: “You have no meals left.”

What do you do, reader? Well, do not use your friend’s Cane Card if your friend is 133 shades darker than you. The excuse, “Well I got…plastic surgery?” does not bring a smile to the lunch lady’s face. If it seems like there is nothing else to do, here are some suggestions:

a.) Return a few hours later, with another friend, and say, “I’m not eating! I’m just accompanying my friend!” and once inside, have your friend order two sandwiches, two fruit cups of cantaloupe and that unknown green fruit and once seated, well, a hungry student’s got to do what a hungry student’s got to do!

b.) Steal your roommate’s Ramen noodles, in which case you may have to deal with his or her wrath.

In conclusion, I would like to apologize to all the lunch ladies who I have annoyed. I apologize for liberally serving myself fruit and trying to pass off as being Guyanese, which as anyone can tell from my picture, I am not. Oh, and I am not responsible for your actions after reading this column. By reading it all the way through, you have just agreed to this.

Lisa Magedler is a freshman majoring in creative writing. She may be contacted at l.magedler@umiami.edu