Posted by: tlnemethy | May 15, 2013


The Michigan Tech campus is not large by any means, in fact I decided to attend because I could actually see myself wandering without fear of getting lost. I’m not the best with directions. Even on the tiny campus I went to, I ended up overshooting the softball field by about five blocks on my first attempt at PE. Michigan Tech has roughly seven  thousand students every year and that was the optimum size for me to recognize people on my way to class without ever having formally met.

Imagine my small town girl in a big city vibe when I found myself on a campus of nearly forty-three thousand. The campus was pretty much a terrifying foray into map reading and genuine guesstimation about my free time.

I lived in Willkie, one of two eleven-story towers that played house to everyone in the summer language immersion program. Instead of walking up one flight of stairs to the in-house cafeteria at my Tech dorm, I had to walk almost a mile to Ballantine Hall for my num nums. My suitemate, Callie, was a student of Indiana University and she wandered around with me the first few days until I knew the main routes by heart.

One of the perks of studying on the military’s dime is the use of meal tickets. Contrary to the most convenient method of eating I was used to, I now had to buy each item separately which really put a damper on my food consumption. While breakfast isn’t normally my thing, Tech’s cafeteria afforded me the opportunity to eat as many helpings of whatever concoction they’d whipped up or a full range of cereal (I definitely took advantage of the dry bar). Unfortunately, the prices for a single serving of cereal and one of those tiny cartons of milk was enough to drive me into becoming a non-breakfast eater. The meal ticket I was given only covered $200 worth of food. So with the first week of  meals including two breakfasts as described, seven chicken sandwiches, and seven ham and cheese sandwiches I had completely exhausted my food money.

I know, right? What a ripoff these college cafeterias are.

If I’m gonna walk the distance, I’d really like to get a decently priced meal. After that week, I started branching out and scrounging for my scraps elsewhere.

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