Frosh-cessities: Dining Calculus

As a freshman, the meal plans at Brown can be confusing. Like, really confusing. In the words of wisdom from my senior friend: “Get the Flex460 plan. I could explain it, but I won’t. Just do it.” Though I feel like I have come a long way since my pre-frosh days—I finally know how to stumble back to my dorm on Wednesday nights make it to my classes on time—I, for the life of me, cannot comprehend the multivariable calculus that is the meal plan system.

When I’m coming home in the wee hours of the morning (1 a.m.) and am looking for some pizza from the Gate, I can hardly tell the difference between left and right, let alone credit and points. After starving from studying all day in the Rock, how are you supposed to make a calculated decision about the best meal option? Screw it—say what comes to mind first, and hope for the best.

Once you overcome the first obstacle (or come to terms with never understanding the system), you will realize that you are just embarking on a journey full of choices. What type of food do you really want? You can go to the Ratty, V-Dub (can someone please confirm it’s going to start opening on weekends?!), the Gate, Jo’s, and many others. The possibilities truly are endless (like the lines in the Ratty). Be wary though, each location has different hours of operation and payment methods. Word of advice to fellow frosh: Check out the Brown Dining Services website, Brown Menu, or our sidebar (on left) for details. They’re a godsend.

But for those of you who are too lazy too busy to click on that extra link, fret not, for­­ I have compiled a list of my go to quick and easy ways to most effectively use your meal credits around campus:

1. Go to the V-Dub or Ratty 

All-you-can-eat. Enough said.

2. Gate

Two pieces of cheese pizza + One Uncrustable= $6.55

Healthy(ish) Option*: Build your own sandwich + One fruit= $6.60

3. Jo’s

Spicy With + Fries= $6.45

Chicken Carberry= $6.35

Healthy(ish) Option: Salad= $6.45

*For people who wish to live past age 25.

As I’m slowly making my way through this journey, I at least have the people I just met a week ago my friends to help me count how many meal credits I’ve used and figure out if I should skip a meal for some weird mathematical reason. I desperately hope that if we work together, we’ll figure it out (yay teamwork). Heck, we might even be able to make the most of our meal plans.

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