By Christina Matacotta
At most colleges and universities throughout the United States, meal plans are considered to be another unavoidable part of the “freshman experience,” along with twin-sized beds and community bathrooms. Luckily for students at the University of Georgia, unlimited yearlong access to five nationally ranked dining commons give meal plans a more positive association.
The accolades received by food services every year come as no surprise to UGA students. The combination of high-quality food, service and cleanliness is what has led the university to receive more Horton Awards than any other college food service operation in the nation. While this consistency is impressive, it is the diversity of selections offered throughout the dining halls that make meal plans so great according to Georgia students. Each dining hall has its’ own unique thing to offer, including custom fried rice at Oglethorpe House, fancy pancakes at Bolton, fresh smoothies at The Village Summit, brick-oven pizza at The Niche and 24-hour service at Snelling.
The high-quality cuisine offered contributes to another stereotypical part of the first-year college experience—the dreaded freshman fifteen. Whether you find yourself in Bolton, The Niche, O-House, The Village Summit or Snelling, one section in particular tempts even the most disciplined health foodies to indulge—the bakery. Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner time, one can always expect to run into some traffic around the dessert areas of the dining halls. So which ones do students find most tempting?
Grab-and-go sweets are definitely among the students’ favorites. “I grew up eating store- brand Rice Crispy Treats, but after a year of eating the extra-large and super chewy [rice crispy treats] they make in Bolton, I don’t think I could go back to the pre-packaged treats,” raves Kaleigh Wright, a freshman consumer journalism and fashion merchandising major from Kennesaw. “You can literally see whole marshmallows in every square! I check the UGA mobile app daily to see which dining hall will have them on any given day. Although, in my opinion, the ones at Bolton are the best."
The rice crispy treats, however, are not the only sweets students love. “I agree that rice crispy treats are classic, but the ones made with corn Chex are even better. They combine my favorite cereal and favorite dessert,” says Alyssa Alves, a freshman journalism major from Kennesaw.
The home-style cobblers and puddings are especially irresistible to those on meal plan. “The blackberry cobbler is my favorite because it reminds me of a place in my hometown that my family goes to,” says Anne Marie McCeachern, a freshman psychology major from Columbus. The white chocolate blueberry bread pudding also stands out as a favorite among students. “It’s the best in the world; it combines the awesome taste of blueberry with chocolate, and it’s basically like a cobbler with bread,” says Kaylee German, a freshman education major from Granby, Connecticut.
It’s impossible to avoid talking about the array of ice creams when asking students about desserts. Raspberry cheesecake ice cream is freshman Emma Collins’ go to indulgence: “It’s creamy and delicious and the fruit makes it feel not so unhealthy,” says Collins, a criminal justice major from Canton.
The delicious variety available to Bulldawgs throughout campus makes it easy to satisfy any sweet tooth. No matter what treat students are in the mood for—cookies, cakes, pies, cobblers or ice creams—the high-quality dining commons never disappoint. It’s safe to say that UGA students have a pretty sweet meal plan.