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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Eat lots of ice cream, embrace the Freshman 15

Freshmen year rocks and sucks all at the same time. That's what makes it freshmen year. It's awesome that you can go out any night you want and drink as much as you want, but the 36 hour hangover really sucks. It's sweet to be able to attend whatever class you choose, but it sucks if skipping that class bites you in the butt later on the exam. It's all about learning lessons and knowing your options. I'm here to help you through the lessons of freshmen cuisine.  


Let's start with the don'ts of freshmen eating. First of all, don't be afraid to eat alone. Most freshmen originally have this fear of eating at Frank's or Pop's by themselves. It could be the fear of being seen as a freak, or just insecurity about going somewhere on your own. Either way it's silly. Get up, grab a bagel and a banana, eat it, and go on your way. Dorms don't provide much privacy, and eating alone may be some of the only alone time you have in a day. Also, eating in a pack of twenty makes you look more like scared freshmen than anything else. The same goes for traveling to parties.  


Secondly, don't worry about the dreaded freshmen fifteen. Seriously, it's going to happen sooner or later. You can either fight it, or embrace it. Plus, it's easy to avoid if you watch what you eat and walk a lot. College is just a different lifestyle you learn to master. Avoid kegs of beer, gallons of ice cream and mountains of fudge, and you should be all right.  


Thirdly, don't be afraid to try new things. Eating at the cafeterias isn't like lunch at high school. The close minded won't make fun of you for eating the bowl of cream of wheat or trying the African chicken. It's all good. Plus, the options at Frank's and Pop's make you realize what you like as opposed to just eating what your mom puts in front of you.  


Now for a few do's. Do wander the greatness of State Street. It has a lot to offer. But once you've tried a few places, get off State Street and find your own gems of Madison cuisine. State Street is great, don't get me wrong, but realize that Madison offers much more than Chipotle and Potbelly.  


Do cherish the easily accessible Babcock ice cream in Ed's and lower Frank's. I've probably only had Babcock ice cream once since not living in the dorms. It's delicious. Don't take it for granted. You'll miss it later.  


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And perhaps most importantly, be nice to the lunch ladies, especially Erma at Frank's. Erma made my day almost everyday. Between telling other employees not to get their panties in a twist and telling her boss that she would do what he wanted once she finished doing what she wanted, Erma always made me smile. I also loved her dance moves behind the counter. So be nice to Erma, and she will by all means be more than nice to you.  


Overall, most food lessons, just like almost all lessons learned in college, are gained from experience. Hopefully this serves as a little guide to get things started, but in the end it's all up to you. Isn't college wonderful?  


If you need more freshmen food tips from an expert or would like to be introduced to Erma from Frank's, e-mail Emily at

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