The Liberal Arts Lunch of Champions

malory thelen

The "Caf"

The “Caf”

The first time I walked into the TU Cafeteria (Caf for short), my senses were bombarded with new and exciting options.  I didn’t know where to start, so after I swiped my card, I hopped into the line for the nearest station.  As I stood in line, I took in my surroundings: I was able to see Italian food across the way, fresh wraps at another station, international food next to the grill, vegetarian options, and of course: the classic options like meat, potatoes, and mixed vegetables.  And don’t even get me started on the dessert area (aka my home away from home).

Having eaten in the caf for almost two semesters now, I have begun to liken it to a micro-culture of college life in general.  Here are a few examples:

Example One: “Nothing looks good today.  I guess I should just head straight to the dessert station for some good ole chocolate chip cookies and soft serve ice cream.”

Example Two: “I’m so hungry and everything looks so delicious today!  I think I’ll have one pick from each station.”

Example Three: “I have already eaten so much pizza, but the cooks keep putting out different kinds.  I want to try every flavor: pepperoni, cheese, vegetable, meat lovers, but my plate is already overflowing.

Now here’s some advice regarding each of these examples that can help you both in the caf and in your college life!

The Dessert Dilemma: College (and cafeteria food) can be scary sometimes, especially when you are first starting out.  However, you cannot excel and grow if you never take a risk and try something new.  One of my professors told me, “If you are not uncomfortable sometimes in the classroom, you aren’t participating or acting to your full potential.”  So, take an Art History course if you are a Physics major, join Greek life even if you are shy, and don’t rely solely on the safety of the dessert section!

The Hunger Game: This is truly what liberal education is all about: taking a variety of classes both inside and outside your area of interest.  I encourage you to sample the rice, the sautéed mushrooms, and the mashed potatoes of courses in order to get a fuller idea of what the world has to offer.

Pizzaplicity: This is the classic case of putting too much on your plate.  Yes, the sheer amount of options in college can be overwhelming, and I know that I am one of those people who wants to get twenty-five hours of stuff done in a day with only twenty-four hours.  So, I urge you to find your passion through samples (not slices) of different activities and devote your time to a select few.

My biggest piece of advice is to never stop exploring.

Just last week, I ventured to the other side of the caf and discovered a waffle maker!  Since then, it has become my weekend brunch tradition to have a waffle instead of the usual scrambled eggs and biscuits.  I hope you, as well, will find your waffle maker in your college experience.

Happy eating!