The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Surviving UMass Without a Meal Plan

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I no longer have a meal plan at a campus that is famously known for its number one dining.

I live off campus and only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So I figured it was time for me to part ways with the tempting meals UMass has to offer. Since doing so I have had to become a “chef” overnight. I put the word chef in quotes because I am the exact opposite of one. I could be on the show Worst Cooks in America. The other day I had to look up, “How to make eggs” on YouTube. Turns out all I had to do was crack them in hot greased pan. You learn something new everyday. About two weeks in and I have already compiled a list of the pros and cons of being without a meal plan.


1. I can no longer get a daily poke bowl from Blue Wall’s Wasabi restaurant. It was my go-to meal, always. My tastebuds loved the combination of fresh tuna, rice, avocado, and lettuce. I still splurge on it once in awhile.

2. Since I’m not the best cook I tend to eat a lot of the same meals, e.g. pasta and fake chicken sandwiches. I’m a pescatarian, so I usually use Morning Star Farms chik patties as a substitute for meat. I have no idea what’s in the patties, but they taste great.

3. I hate when I forget what food I have in the fridge and then it goes bad. One of the worst feelings in the world is when you realize you wasted an entire gallon of milk. Aka, what happened to me last night!

4. If I’m hungry on campus, I have to wait till I get home to eat. I combat this is by packing snack bars in my bag! I highly recommend the Atkins Caramel Chocolate Nut Roll Bars. They taste like a combination of a Snickers and PayDay. I like them frozen too.


1. The first pro is a given, I save $$$! Who doesn't like to save money?

2. I'm pretty sure one of the first rules to adulting is: learn how to cook. What better time to start than now? Hopefully someday soon I'll have my own signature dish to bring to dinner parties.

3. I no longer have to wait in lines and search around the world twice to find seating. This is something I definitely don't miss. I always have an oven and a seat with my name on it at home.

4. Since I no longer have an endless buffet at my fingertips I tend to eat healthier. Plus, I was never the person to get a salad at Blue Wall.

Having no meal plan comes with its ups and downs. The one thing I know for sure is talking about all this food is making me hungry. Time to make a snack!


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