Healthy Eating on Campus: Why it’s difficult

Ever since I began my freshman year of college, I knew I wanted to continue eating healthy just as I had grown up doing. It was really important to me to fuel my body with the right nutrients it needed to thrive, and give me energy all day long. But it wasn't until I got to college that I realized how difficult it could be, with different factors and choices to make concerning my daily eating habits. At Stonehill, we only have one meal plan where everyone gets the same amount to use each semester. If you didn’t use it all, it will carry over from fall to spring semester, but not from spring to fall which makes it tricky. I can either try to use it all up and purchase things that my body doesn’t necessarily need, or I can let it carry over and deal with it later. I also found myself spending my own money at the grocery store getting snacks and things to eat in my dorm room which adds up quickly and is not beneficial financially. I soon realized that the dining hall and other food services on campus didn’t have the best and healthiest options for what I was looking for because they obviously value quantity over quality. The con to that is spending my own money on real food I can cook/throw together while letting my meal plan hang out and not use the money my mother was paying the school. I recently discovered that most of the food here makes me feel gross and not myself, and found that cooking my own dinners and snacks gave me more energy for what the days would bring. Knowing this coming into my junior year, I bought a small toaster from Target and a single serve NutriBullet to make smoothies, and honestly they have both been game changers. I may be using my own money to buy healthy items, but I value what I put into my body more than using the money they make us pay to ultimately feel gross.

fruit smoothie in glass with metal straw Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

I find myself questioning Stonehill’s meal plan a lot, and don’t quite understand the ethics behind it. Why is the plan the same for all resident students, when each individual is unique and has their own specific dining needs and wants? Especially with COVID, the options have been lacking in creativity which makes me not want to take advantage of the meal money I have access to and would rather cook something for myself that I know is healthy and good for me. There is no real reason why Stonehill has only one meal plan and cannot create options, the only thing on their minds is money. Shouldn’t it matter more about how students feel eating the food than profiting on us?

stack of money pixabay