Home-Cooked Meals Are Far Superior To On-Campus Dining

Home-Cooked Meals Are Far Superior To On-Campus Dining

The repetitive options of the dining hall make me miss my mom's cooking.
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Something I didn't consider much while choosing a college was the food. Sure, I was aware I'd be eating in a dining hall, but I didn't take into account how much of a step down that would be from my current food situation.

No matter the school and no matter how good the dining hall, it will inevitably be far inferior to home-cooked meals.

I'm very fortunate that throughout my entire life my family has made a conscious effort to eat dinner together every night. No matter how busy the day, my mom would always have a nice, warm meal on the table at the end of it. I definitely took this for granted.

When I got to college, the options in the dining hall at first seemed awesome, but soon started to bore me. Although I love the stir-frys, I can only eat them so many days in a row.

The options soon made me far less enthused than they previously had. It soon struck me that I was no longer able to send my mom dinner requests of my current cravings.

As the saying goes, "You get what you get and you don't get upset." Although I certainly wasn't upset, I definitely was sick and tired of the food.

Then, winter break came. Once again, I had access to a kitchen, mom who cooked dinner every night, and a car which gave me free reign of restaurants. This brief reprieve from my regular eating schedule was a welcome distraction.

I'm fortunate to have access to food and to be able to eat three meals a day every day. However, I can't pretend that I don't miss my pre-college eating habits. I miss the variety. I miss my mom's cooking. I miss making pasta in the middle of the night just because I want to.

Having a dining hall is awesome, but it can't hold a candle to a good, home-cooked meal.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:” Line Matters,

I want to start off by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can’t afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you’re just lazy and you “don’t feel like it”? Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you’re unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the US Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck.” stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:” line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can’t seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to ten people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!”

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the seventeen other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there’s a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 dollar bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of ten times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession - whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food, and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a forty dollar bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes - as if you’re better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you’ll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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6 Times It’s Actually OK To Be Rude To Retail Workers

It might surprise you.

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As a retail worker myself, I know firsthand that customers aren't always the kindest to the employees trying to help them out.

I've seen customers snapping at workers, getting angry when things don't go their way, and leaving huge messes around the store that employees have to clean up. Retail employees have to work hard on their feet for very little pay, and they deserve to be treated with kindness for the work they put in.

Here are 6 times that it's OK to treat retail employees with anything less than respect.

1. Never

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Retail employees are trying their best to help you out – customer service is the main part of their jobs, and they really do make an effort to help customers find what they're looking for, even when they ask for something unreasonable. Snapping at employees isn't going to speed up the process.

2. Never

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Contrary to popular (and bewilderingly misguided) belief, retail employees have very little control over the contents of the store. If the shirt you wanted to buy isn't in stock in your size, it's not the employee's fault. I repeat: it's not the employee's fault! They're just the bearer of bad news and can't fix the situation for you.

3. Never

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Retail employees do have to keep the store clean, but that doesn't mean that customers should feel free to make a mess. When you leave trash in the store and a tangled heap of clothing in the fitting room, they're the ones who have to clean up after you.

Also, when you tear up a display looking for your size, someone has to refold and reorganized all of those clothes, and can you guess who that has to be?

4. Never

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Many retail employees have to work terrible hours, what with overnight shifts and having to open the store early in the morning or close it down late at night. Most of them are exhausted and are doing the best work they can on that amount of sleep.

5. Never

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Keep in mind that yelling at a retail employee when you get frustrated does count as verbal abuse, and it is never acceptable. This makes a huge impact on retail employee's days (as one would expect being yelled at by a stranger might entail).

6. Never

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Even if you're feeling frustrated about something, please stop for a moment and continue to treat the employees trying to help you like they're human beings. No one deserves to be mistreated at work.

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