With so much turmoil and strife in the world, I like to think we can all agree on one thing–food. It’s more important than politics, stress, and relationships. That being said, food is also quite divisive. From vegans to carnivores, we have preferences that we always hope to fulfill when we eat. The meal plan here at ETSU is a fantastic way to meet those desires.

Initially, the idea of being forced to eat from only a couple different places on campus was concerning. College is pitched as the first time in your life that you’re really in control, but then if you choose to live in a dorm, you get forced into buying the school’s meal plan. However, over the last few weeks, I’ve come to feel that it really is the best option for food here at school.

When I first committed to coming to ETSU and living on campus, I was admittedly a bit concerned about having to eat “school food” for another several months. However, I have come to love the buffet style meals of the Market Place. One meal swipe from every student with a meal plan is enough to grant access to any of the many foods in the Market Place. As I’m sure most of you know by now, this cafeteria on the top floor of the D.P. Culp University Center has a massive variety of foods for every diet imaginable, unlike the stale and often disgusting meals most of us have experienced during our compulsory education.

Food at school gets a very bad rap, being notoriously gross in appearance and taste, but the food here at ETSU is a welcome exception to this rule. I no longer dread going to eat lunch while on campus, and that is a welcome change from high school. The meal plan that accompanies the on-campus housing is also a good financial choice as well, with each meal costing about $5 (assuming three meals a day everyday during the semester), less than most combos at McDonald’s and better as a diet. This meal plan gives the opportunity to really improve one’s diet without the cost accompanied by healthier foods.

Although it may not have been the first choice for every ETSU student, I have come to respect the fact that high quality food is just down the road from the crack of dawn to midnight.