Dear Freshman….

Dear freshman,

On behalf of Chartwells (aka your campus dining), I would first like to officially welcome you to the Razorback family! Can I get a woo pig?!

By this point, I’m sure you’ve been flooded with so much information that your head has probably exploded at least once….ok, maybe twice. But don’t worry, I’m not here to give you boring info. I’m here to share six LIFE-SAVING dining truths and tips that I wish I would have known as a freshman. Hope you enjoy!

1. It’s ok to eat by yourself.

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As awkward as it may seem, eating by yourself is inevitable. Everyone eats alone at least once during their freshman year, it’s ok – no judging here. However, if you’re afraid of feeling uncomfortable – bring your laptop, and watch netflix or work on homework.

2. It’s ok to ask for help – I promise.

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I’m sure you’ve heard about Class+ (campus resource that helps you with all your academic needs) but did you know we have a similar resource (our campus dietitian) to help you with all of your dietary needs? Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or have a severe food allergy – our dietitian, Ashley, is here and happy to help you learn to navigate our dining halls! Contact her today at: ameek@uark.edu. Coming soon: be looking for a post on highlighting vegan and vegetarian options in the dining hall!

3. The Brough smell is a real thing.

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Yes – it’s true. If you eat at Brough, you’ll more than likely smell like Brough. It’s not a bad thing though because everyone smells like it.

4. Meal trades are life.

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Meal trades not only give you even more variety to your diet (as if there wasn’t enough already) – these wondrous additions to your meal plan allow you to enjoy some of your favorite foods (fried chicken, salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers – you name it!). Click this link to see all meal trade locations and times: https://new.dineoncampus.com/razorbacks/locations-and-hours

5. Always carry snacks in your backpack

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If you haven’t figured it out already, you’ll quickly learn that you survive on three things – coffee, naps and snacks. Having a snack handy is especially important if you have a class around the middle of the day or multiple back-to-back classes. They help keep you focused and hangriness at bay. You can use your dining dollars to pick up snacks at any of our Club Reds (there’s one around the corner from the Brough entrance, one in the Arkansas Union and another at Maple Hill). You can also find quick snacks at Au Bon Pain and the Union Food Court!

6. Take advantage of the free stuff.

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Chartwells is always giving away stuff – the cool stuff. From hip t-shirts and cups to coupons – you’ll want it. I promise. As a matter of fact – we’ll be giving away a back-to-school bundle next week worth over $200! Follow us at @foodpigsooie (instagram) for more details!

Over the next four years (or 5, or 6 or 8…), you will go through more changes than you can count. You will make mistakes, overcome obstacles and learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine. I know it sounds cliche, but your college days will go by faster than you realize, so make sure to enjoy every minute (and meal) of it!

P.s. stay tuned in the coming weeks for a post specifically about meal plans!

Sincerely,

Erica Phillips, senior Chartwells intern

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