The saying is definitely true: you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. If somebody told me at the end of last year, “you’re going to miss having a meal plan next semester,” I would have laughed. It’s no secret that most students don’t exactly have an all-loving relationship with Baldwin when they are on-board (term for having a meal-plan). However, I am here to tell you that if you are on-board, you’ve pretty much got it made.
Due to living in the Mae, and being a broke college student, I’m on a strict diet of eating whatever I can find to make my stomach stop growling. I have my friends guest pass me into Baldwin and the Eat Shop way more than I’d care to admit.
Allow me to give you a few reasons why Baldwin is a blessing.
Convenience: I definitely didn’t realize how time-consuming making food is until I had to make the time to do it every day. Meals that are healthy (other than salad) tend to take at least thirty minutes to an hour JUST TO MAKE. Who on this campus has time to set aside to make food? The real reason behind microwave meals and Ramon Noodles: Ain’t nobody got time for that! On-board students: appreciate that you can grab cooked, healthy food in a matter of minutes.
Variety: We may say that we’ll cook ourselves a variety of different foods and we may dream of delicious meals, but the reality of the matter is I’ve eaten a bowl of rice with some vegetables for quite a few of my meals this year. If it isn’t rice, it’s canned soup. If it’s not canned soup, it’s a peanut butter and jelly. Unless I really put effort into planning different meals for myself, my daily options for sustenance are far less varying than what I had in Baldwin.
No Dishes: Any time I eat, I have to take care of my dishes. More time is used up in preparing and cleaning up my meals than I actually spend eating them. In Baldwin you can just put your dirty dishes on a conveyer belt, walk away from them, and grab a cookie on your way out. In the Mae, I put my dishes in the sink, wait a few seconds for them to disappear, and then accept the fact that I need to make the time to clean them (even if it is just rinsing them off and putting them in the dish washer).
Community: You can usually find someone to go eat with when you’re on-board, and it’s likely you’ll find someone to sit with even when you go alone. There is a community of people eating together in Baldwin. Not to mention, a lot of the Baldwin staff are fun to talk to. Living in the Mae, I eat when I have time to, and usually it’s alone (unless my friends swipe me in to eat with them).
Long story short, I miss Baldwin. It was way better to me than I realized when I had it. Other people who are off-board may not agree with me, but from my personal experience: love Baldwin while you’ve can, because buying groceries, cooking food, and cleaning are way too much of a hassle for my taste.