This is my second year on the hill, and I’ve enjoyed most of the perks of being back at Gustavus, including seeing my friends, learning exciting things in my classes, and being surrounded by our beautiful campus.
However, one area of campus life has caused me more stress this year. Not my higher-intensity classes, as expected, but my meal plan. Last year, I was on the lowest priced meal plan, and I always had extra money at the end of each month. I would spend it on perishable items and stock up some snacks for my dorm room.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the situation. I was getting a fair amount of food for the amount I paid for.
However, that has changed this year. This year, I am stressed about my meal plan, constantly counting how much money I have left, and attempting to budget on a daily basis. I have not increased my food intake, my amount of meals per day, or anything of the sort.
Instead, I am stressed because prices have increased in the Dining Center and Courtyard Café. I didn’t notice at first, as there was no announcement regarding an overall price increase, but I slowly realized the prices I paid for meals last year were not the same as this year. They were substantially higher. I am outraged. As a college student, I have many stresses, which is expected. However, paying for food, a fundamental necessity for survival, should not be one of them.