The 5 Stages of Dining Hall Grief

I love the food from the Diner-said no one ever.

The struggle is real for us on-campus residents because  basically every semester we go through this love-hate relationship cycle with the UMD Dining Services. It’s like the 5 Stages of Grief, only worse because we’re paying UMD to be put through this misery. If you can relate to my pain then read on. If you can’t relate and live off campus, then shut the hell up about how you’re out of food in your swanky Varsity apartment.

Stage 1: Going Ham at the Salad Bar

Ah, the salad bar. It’s basically the only place that’s ‘healthy’, and the place where all of your dining points disappear. Despite the slimy-ness of the lettuce and julienned meat, there’s something powerful about having the control of making your food when most of the time you’re at the mercy of the mean sandwich ladies who don’t care that they put roast beef on your veggie wrap. The ability of control is why the salad bar attracts every freak under the sun. You have the skinny bitches who barely nibble on like two spinach leaves and one scoop of three bean salad just like little rabbits. Then there are the ‘meat heads’ who naively think their ranch and cheddar cheese drowned iceberg lettuce will counteract the thirties of beer they consume on the daily. And then there are always those super drunk or high kids with the drunkies/munchies going apeshit at the late night nacho bar.

Stage 2: The Discovery of The Buffalo Chicken Wrap 

What’s the buffalo chicken wrap you ask? It’s only the Jesus Christ of all the things the Diner has to offer. The buffalo sauce has to be laced with crack because once you have one wrap you’re gonna get fat off a hundred more during your time at UMD. And it is the absolute worse when the guys at the sandwich line never put enough sauce on the wrap. I almost want to ask that one guy with the dreds who consistently skimps on the sauce, “Dude there are very few things that make me happy at the Diner. Can’t you at least give me more than one dollop of buffalo happiness?” I mean there’s a reason most people in line are getting a buffalo chicken wrap and not one of those dumb ass veggie wraps; it’s because that bangin’ buffalo sauce makes them just so damn delicious.  Be careful though freshies, one buffalo chicken wrap at the Diner has almost 600 calories! But let’s be serious, those wraps are worth every goddamn calorie.

Stage 3: Are There Laxatives in the Value Meals?

Sometime after your love affair with the salad bar has fizzled out and your clothes are starting to get tight after one too many buffalo chicken wraps, you decide to give the Value Meals a shot. Who doesn’t want to have a slice of Baked Potato Casserole?  At first bite the value meal food actually tastes good and everything seems to be right with the world. You seem to forget about that ten page paper due tomorrow or the amount of BodyPump classes you’ll need to attend to burn those potatoes off. Then about an hour later when you’re in the sweaty exercise room at Eppley,  your stomach pains bring you to your knees and in search of the closest bathroom. That’s when you realize a month more of salad and cereal is worth not shitting your pants on LaPlata.

Stage 4: 251 Depression

At first 251 North tantalizes you with food that might actually come from a health code passing restaurant like fancy chicken and steak, semi-decent vegetarian food, and all the dessert you could want! Plus, it’s a great place to load up on food if you have a night ahead of you consisting of large amounts of Zelko and Franzia. But if you live on North Campus and use your one swipe a week, that illusion fades faster than  and you realize that it’s the same fancy chicken and cheesy potatoes every week. However if you’re like me and live on South Campus you only get four swipes a semester, so you basically worship 251 and envy everyone who lives on North Campus. I’d pretty much do anything like swim in the Fountain naked for someone’s 251 swipe. Finally for you lucky people who live off campus, don’t waste $18 at 251, be intelligent at least once in your life and save it for Jason’s Deli.

Stage 5: Freeloading Off Your Friends Points

By the end of the semester you’ve decided to break up with the Diner until next semester because the sandwich ladies have messed up your orders one too many times, and the Value Meals have made you fart more than you want to when you went to Eppley after dinner.  Or you’ve ran out of food in your apartment so you need to bum a few points off your friends stuck on campus. This is the time of the semester when you’ll either see NIBs rushing back to Frat Row with those famous buffalo chicken wraps for their brothers, or hordes of people waiting in line at Adele’s because their one anorexic friend has a couple hundred points to use before the end of the semester.

After an emotionally traumatizing semester you’ll be glad to be rid of the hell hole diner, but come next semester you’ll go right back to that salad bar and start this miserable cycle all over again until you break out and finally move off campus.

Comment below on the things you love to hate about the Diner!

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