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A Guide to Surviving the Caf

It’s almost noon. Your mouth is watering and your stomach won’t stop talking to the entire English class.

The doors of the cafeteria await you.

Make haste, because those doors will soon be teeming with other stomach-growlers ready to scarf down lunch and run to their next class.

But don’t worry, the cafeteria or “caf” as us Tigers call it, is a very fun and lively place. It won’t feel much different than your high school cafeteria, where you knew everyone and sat down everyday to eat with your friends.

What might be different? It’s important not to forget the pile of book bags stacked like loose sandbags by the door, because they are cause for a potential face-plant. We all know the whole school would see you fall and your ego would wither away, so just avoid them and stride right on in with food-eating confidence.

Hopefully the line to scan your card isn’t backed up to the outside door (because at noon it usually is).  If possible try to get to the caf either before or after noon.  We also have this really neat thing called Simply to Go, that has pre-packaged sandwiches and other goodies to grab if you are an overachiever and didn’t make time for lunch in between classes. The line for that is usually short.

Now, you would think the salad bar would be the perfect place to start, and it is, unless there is a line for the main course and you must have it. In this case, you should get in the main course line first, that way you aren’t standing in another line tossing your salad all over your tray.

When you have a full tray of food it is important to use both hands, especially when drinks are also involved. It’s best not to go into it thinking you’re a professional waiter because not many of us are, and instead are accident-prone. As long as you mind your tray everything should run smoothly and you’ll be well on your way to scarfing down some delicious food.

Also, once you do decide to grab that salad, be extra mindful of grabbing the plastic bowls under the bar. If you drop one they are loud and cause a scene. The football players are usually the first ones to hear it and single you out by collectively yelling “OOOHHH”. Yes, it’s embarrassing. Just take your time and this won’t happen!

The only other tips you should really be aware of to survive the caf are:
Don’t eat the french fries everyday
Put ice cream on your brownies (they make each other taste better)
Make sure the bread toaster is set on medium and not high (self explanatory)

If you stay aware of all these little tips and tricks you are sure to have a decent meal and plenty of social interactions - whether a current student or on a visit to be a future student.

Eat on.