Monday, July 19, 2010

Food Adventures at the University of Maryland

First I have to say, “I’m loving college!” Okay let me update you. I’ve been at the University of Maryland for ten days now taking a course in entrepreneurship. It’s part of their Young Scholars Program where high school students, like me, get the chance to explore college life. I’ve experienced roaming around a college campus, meeting new people, and being “engaged” in class; however, I have to say, exploring the food options here has been one of the most fun activities. I actually took photos of all the food I ate during my first week at UMD, but my camera broke so I lost the photos; however, I managed to get another camera and took photos of food from my second week.

While breakfast changes from day to day, there is always a cereal and yogurt bar, bagels, grits, eggs, and bacon or sausage. On some days, there are pancakes, waffles, French toast, or something else special. There are also three drink fountains where you can get everything from Gatorade to ginger ale. Every morning there is freshly brewed coffee and tea, which is always popular especially when you have freezing cold classrooms. Oh and how could I forget, there is fresh fruit for breakfast every morning!!! They’ve had apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, and cantaloupe. Starting the day off with fruit always leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to sit in class for the next three hours.

While breakfast and dinner are buffets, lunch is different. You have to buy your own lunch from a card that you are given. For lunch, most people go to The Stamp, which is the Maryland student union. The Stamp houses many fast food options, such as McDs, Chick-fil-A, Panda, and Sbarro. They also have some healthier options, like Saladworks, Subway, and sushi. I’ve had fun trying out different fast food options, but I don’t know that I could eat fast food everyday. I had Chick-fil-A for the first time the other day, but found it too salty for my liking. The other day, my friends and I went to the main road just outside of the university campus. We had Potbelly for lunch (it was my first time). I actually liked it a lot. If only they had one in The Stamp… Oh well.

When I first came here, I was worried that I would not be able to get enough fruit and vegetables in my diet. Much to my delight, I have discovered that the dinner buffet provides me with plenty. The dinner menu changes every night, but there is always a salad bar (YAY!). For the main dish, I have had entrées like blackened catfish, Hawaiian chicken, roast turkey, and baked ziti. There is also a freezer full of ice cream, but I have not yet had the chance to try anything from there. For my first few days at Maryland, I could never get to dinner on time for the watermelon, but now I make sure that I get some everyday. For dessert every night, I get a whole bowl of fruit. I already have the reputation of being a “health nut” here on campus.

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