Consider all the meal plan options on dining menu
Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 18:05
The best piece of advice I can offer for incoming freshman isn't the tough stuff — not time management, avoiding roommate civil wars or hot spots on campus.
Rather, I can nourish your mind with some tips on food. Specifically, meal plans.
Take a slice of this information pie I have to offer. If you have a meal plan, you definitely won't go hungry, until the weekend when the majority of restaurants close. The Fresh Food Company in South Village (commonly called Sovi) remains open until 10 p.m., though.
If you live in North Lake, be aware that the shuttles do not run on the weekends.
Two options for meal plans are the block 120 and block 75 plans. I had the block 75 for my first year and found out for myself just how much food that is to eat. In fact, I didn't even use up all my swipes my first semester.
Know that if you have the 75 block plan, you will have to eat at the swipe locations (Sovi and the location in Student Union Food Court) more regularly than you use the $200 dining dollars. The 120 plan seems like far too much unless you are really a stickler for Sovi-style food.
Also offered are unlimited access plans in 5- and 7-day form with $100 dining dollars per semester. The 7 day plan claims each meal at a swipe location costs $3.89 (plus tax), however this is assuming you swipe around 425 times in a semester. The 5-day plan claims each meal costs $4.57 (plus tax) assuming 327 swipes a semester. Both sound like a plateful.
Additionally, make sure you cook the idea in your mind well enough before you pull it out of the oven — the unlimited plans means you'll be eating a lot at Sovi and the location in the SU Food Court. While there is a lot of variation in the food you can eat (especially at Sovi), you might start to get tired of it every day.
The meal plan I suggest sinking your teeth into is the 440 dining dollars plan. With this, you have $400 in dining credit a semester to spend at any food establishment your little heart desires. You also get $40 "bonus bucks" that kick in when the $400 has been used.
This plan is especially tasty because it offers the most flexibility in where you want to eat. The swipe locations don't cost too much more than when you pay via block plans. Plus, dining dollars can be "reloaded" at any time on the FGCU dining website.
If your stomach feels empty after your first year at FGCU and you decide that one of the block or unlimited plans is worth it, then you can easily place your order for the next school year. But as a victim of almost too much food, I would suggest a more conservative meal plan experimentation in your first year.