Friday, February 3, 2023

What’ll It Be This Time?

by Calvin Castillo | November 6, 2022

Silliman University is one of the best schools in the Philippines. It’s no surprise that students from all over the Philippines and the world come to Dumaguete just to study here. However, one of the more daunting challenges of living outside of your comfort zone is thinking about your next meal. Whether living alone in an apartment or a dormitory with others – the struggle is ever-present.

Dormitories in Silliman usually have a meal plan that parents or guardians pay for every semester. That means dormers typically get three meals a day, seven days a week. But the food isn’t necessarily five-star cuisine.

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” is a quote from Forrest Gump. When put into context, it means that in life, you won’t know if the next thing you’ll experience will be good or bad. The same goes for dorm food. Some days, dormers are treated to delicious goodies like lechon kawali, barbeque skewers, or fried chicken. Most of the time, dormers endure stews, soups, fish (which some don’t eat), or the infamous rubber beef. 

Many dormers regularly treat themselves to food from outside their cafeterias from time to time. Some see it as a welcome reward for their week’s hard work, while some just want a break from their typical fare.

Jules Ayungao of Vernon Hall said that although many dormers would rather buy and cook their own food, dormers still tolerate the meals for the sake of convenience. So, he sticks with the meal plans and hopes that the next meal is palatable. 

Although students who live off campus spend and exert more effort on every meal, they have full control over what they eat and can budget their money instead of having a fixed price for every meal.

This is beneficial to students who are on a special diet, or those who work out. Instead of making do with the meal plan, a student can pick ingredients and meals that suit their special needs. It’s beyond a dormer’s power to pick what goes in their food without a special request to the Student Housing and Residence Division or the SU Cafeteria. But a student who lives off-campus has to deal with none of that.

Julienne Eder from grade 11 SU Senior High School lives off-campus. She said that she couldn’t possibly survive on dorm food since she is a picky eater. She also said that she works out and that buying and preparing her food allows her to prepare high-protein meals that help her performance. She buys her groceries about twice a month and allots a budget of ₱1,500 every time.

In the end, what matters is what the student wants and needs. Depending on the circumstance, dorm food or cooking your own food can help a student improve oneself. 

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