No one really ever calls our dining hall the Green Mountain Dining Room, everyone just refers to it as Alliot, and everyone else knows you're talking about the dining hall. Freshman, sophomores, and juniors all enjoy the luxury of an unlimited meal plan for their first three years at St. Mike's. Now that I am a senior, I only have a limited meal plan, consisting of 40 meals per semester, roughly 2-3 per week.
At first, 2-3 meals per week doesn't sound so bad, but coming from someone who would wake up early to get Alliot breakfast before class, it's bad.
I've created a short list of reasons why I miss Alliot. Here it goes:
1) Seeing everyone. Alliot is the only dining location on campus that is covered by meal plan, therefore it is more than likely that while in Alliot you will see classmates, friends, teammates, and even some professors eating. I miss the ability to see everyone in one place.
2) The employees. Alliot workers are great! They are constantly working hard to provide the students with whatever it is they need. Last fall I had an internship that took me off campus two days a week during lunch hours and the Alliot workers prepared a bag lunch for me everyday I was off campus during the semester. It was pretty awesome.
3) Alliot breakfast. I miss my egg whites with hot sauce and half a wheat english muffin I would split with my roommate Abby. It was delicious and nutritious everyday that I had the pleasure of eating it.
4) Making Alliot creations. Eating in a dining hall for every meal of every day, you learn to be creative. I miss mixing and matching whatever Alliot has to offer to make a unique meals that never get old. One of my favorites is mixing the granola (that has red raisons, white raisons, and dried apples) with slices of a banana and a little bit of melted peanut butter. YUM!5) The convenience. At first I thought that being able to cook my own meals in my townhouse wouldn't be that different from Alliot other than the fact that I had more control over my options. I was wrong. Cooking actually involves, prepping, cooking, eating, and cleaning. A few extra steps have been added since the convenient days of Alliot that just involved the eating step.
Although I miss Alliot, I know that living in a townhouse is preparing me for life after college, where cooking will became part of my everyday schedule. Living in a townhouse is like riding a bike with training wheels, you're not quite ready to do it on your own, but you're getting close. I think that St. Mike's understands that the college learning experience goes beyond the doors of the classroom. St. Mike's is trying to prepare their students for life after college in a number of different ways, including how to take care of ourselves and each other.