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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Super Cool News No. 3: The meal plan life is the good life

    Courtney Helman
    Burger King employee returns a customer’s CatCard on Monday, April 4.

    Super Cool News is a new feature that shares the, yes, coolest news happening around town and around the country. Try not to take what its writers have to say too literally.

    Saying goodbye to home-cooked meals remains one of the hardest parts of college. As college students, we must move past the feeling of walking into the kitchen as the aroma of mom’s home-cooked spaghetti puts us in a trance, and wave goodbye to the glorious scent of dad grilling burgers outside. But, it’s OK.

    The lucky ones have no need to fret, because mom and dad transfer the feelings of their home cooked meals into an all-access pass to all the food we could ever wish for. This golden ticket to the freshman 15 is typically known as the meal plan.

    Meal plans represent the epitome of food freedom in college. How do they work? Well, you order food on campus, give your CatCard to the employee at the restaurant and, before you know it, you will have food. It’s as easy as that.

    At the UA specifically, students possess endless possibilities of what to eat, from Chick-fil-A to Papa John’s to On Deck Deli to Panda Express. The Student Union Memorial Center even contains a Burger King, for a reason nobody seems to understand.

    It’s a glorious feeling to finish up with class then cruise on down to the student union in order to spend your parents’ hard-earned money on an overpriced chicken sandwich. What could be better than that? Well, absolutely nothing.

    A student with a meal plan, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted to frequently using his meal plan.

    “My parents keep telling me to cut back to three meals a day, but I’m not having it,” he said. “Panda Express is my lifeline.” The student failed to admit that he obviously has a problem.

    Students even get a student discount when paying with a meal plan. To make things even better, meal plans only work on campus, so there’s no better way to become fully acquainted with the diverse culinary atmosphere the UA has to offer. You’ll have no choice but to eat at the restaurants covered by the meal plan, and honestly, why would you even have the need to go anywhere else?

    You may not have realized this before, but meal plans also allow people to make friends. Before long, students will discover what meal plan restaurant they most align with. Whether you’re Team Panda Express, Team Papa John’s or the classic Team Chick-fil-A type, your meal plan will allow you to find students also sick of every other restaurant in the student union except for the one they have chosen to align with.

    Before admitting to choosing Panda Express as his favorite meal plan restaurant, the same anonymous student said, “I eat Panda at least seven times a week. I think the employees are starting to recognize me.”

    Some swear upon greek life as the best way to make lifelong friends during the college years, but in reality, the bonds held by fraternity brothers and sorority sisters are nothing compared to the bond achieved through an undying love for Panda Express.

    You can also make meal plan friends by joining the Wildcat Meal Plan club. Join this life-changing organization and you’ll see the passion that UA students hold for their meal plans. OK, maybe the UA doesn’t actually have a meal plan club, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start one.

    Meal plans are a college necessity, there’s no denying it. Without one, college has no meaning. The year has started winding down, folks, so it’s about time to start once again pressuring mom and dad into buying you another meal plan. Don’t wait too long to do so!

    Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.

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