Throwback Thursday: Eat Free for a Day, Orientation Style

By Katie Hake, The Dartmouth Staff | 7/17/14 1:50pm

It’s a classic first-week-of-college challenge: try to find free food for every meal. Doing this for a day during Freshman Orientation was incredibly easy, with clubs and groups of all kinds vying for our attention. But over sophomore summer, things have become more complicated. Nevertheless, I decided to take on this challenge and try to find three free meals this week. Here’s how my day went:

Breakfast, 10 a.m.: I had no idea how I was going to find myself breakfast until my film professor blitzed out late the night before my 10A. We would be doing our first read-through of our final project script the next morning…and juice and donuts would be provided. In the words of that immortal song from my freshman fall, I was “on a roll.”

Lunch, 1 p.m.: A donut, half a muffin and a cup of fruit later, my stomach had recovered enough by 1 p.m. to consider my next free meal option. Luckily, I had swiped two mini Boloco burritos when I volunteered at the Prouty on Saturday and stuck them in my fridge. Does this make me a bad person? I can’t say for sure, but I can say that these burritos, plus a suspicious orange my friend found in the hallway of his dorm, made for the perfect free lunch.

Snack, 4 p.m.: Ate pistachios like a fiend. Took a nap.

Dinner, 5 p.m.: For dinner, seeing no promising options on the campus listserv, I had a can of soup at home. I figured that technically since the can of soup and the pistachios had been in my room, they wouldn’t count as spending money on a meal. This may be cheating, but the fact is that with only one class of students on campus this summer, fewer organizations seem to be offering up opportunities to eat for free. Where is my Taste of Africa to go with a guest speaker? Where is my Jewel of India available so long as I attend a club’s movie screening? Which is more persuasive, a “taste” or a “jewel”? All of these questions remain unanswered.

If I did learn anything from my adventures, however, I would say that the number one secret to eating for free on campus is to mooch. That’s it. Mooch off of other people as much as possible and over time, they won’t even notice you’re doing it. That’s how you establish friendships in college.

Katie Hake, The Dartmouth Staff