Growing up with two working parents, dinnertime, or any family meal for that matter, was never a “sit-down and tell me about your day” process. It was grabbing Wendy’s on the way to ballet, Arby’s while rushing to a swim meet or picking up Chipotle before band practice. It’s safe to say that I am one of those fast-food generation kids. How I am not ridiculously unhealthy and severely overweight is beyond me. This is NOT to say that my parents did not care about my well-being, for they most certainly did (our refrigerator was constantly filled with food I DIDN’T want to eat: spinach salad, yogurt, anything labeled “low-fat” or “sugar-free”). However, the amount of extracurricular activities my brother and I were both involved in just did not leave much time for a family meal. Thus, coming to CNU was a new experience for me, considering the dining options were “foreign” to my elementary and picky taste buds.
My roommate (see previous blogs) comes from a family that thrives on the family meal and whose dad is a self-proclaimed, taste-buds-affirmed, gourmet chef. Freshman year I’d see her want to eat bruschetta chicken while I was making a beeline for the French fries. Looking back, I see how much I have grown in terms of food (a silly thing, I know). Due to the abundance of options at Regatta’s, the Common’s, Discovery Bistro and Café, and Einstein’s, I did have the opportunity to remain steadfast in my diet of chicken nuggets, pizza, and burgers, but I actually expanded my options and now, believe it or not, I like salad. Shocking, I know. No one is as shocked as my mother. Of course, although I know I may have come from a little less than normal background in terms of dining, I still have met others like me as well as those like Micaela and people in between. CNU’s Dining Services is aware of the diverse background of students who enter the dining halls every day, and they adapt perfectly to meet the needs and requests of all students. But what is amazing to see is that college really does change you (for the better) in ALL aspects of life, not just your improvement on writing a literary analysis, but also picking Mongolian grill instead of a hot dog.