Dining Options

I’m going to dinner in an hour, so I have food on my mind right now. The University of Scranton has several locations where students can purchase food or use their meal plan. Here’s a rundown of some of the key features of each dining facility.

1. Fresh Food Company: Aramark’s college food center is located on the 3rd floor of the DeNaples Center. At more than 10 stations, students can choose food freshly prepared on site. There is a fully stocked salad bar as well, and two soups are provided daily. Students can use their meal plans or purchase a visit to the Fresh Food Company. The great thing is that it’s an all-you-can-eat dining center! Another well-loved aspect of the FFC is Upscale Wednesday, when one entree served (at a higher price) is of a higher quality.  The menu is available online.

2. DeNaples Food Court: The food court on the 1st floor of the DeNaples Center serves grab-and-go salads, pizza, and chain foods. Stations include Quiznos, Zoca, Chik-fil-a, and a hamburger grill. Other quick foods like yogurt, fruit, chips, bagels, and cookies are available. Students can use their meal plans for one entree/drink and flex/royal/cash for any additional purchases. The “late night” swipe (from 8-11 PM) can only be used at this food court.

3. Mulberry Street Food Court: The smaller food court beneath the Montrone and Pillarz apart buildings serves homestyle meals and made-to-order sandwiches, paninis, and salads. The food court is connected to a POD, which is similar to a convenience store. Students can use their meal plans for one entree.

4. Bleecker Street Café: This Panera-like café is located on the 1st floor of the Loyola Science Center. Bakery items, drinks, salads, sandwiches, and soups can be purchased. (Their cookies are to die for!) Sadly, students cannot use their meal plans at this location.

5. Hyland Café: Anyone who has ever trekked down to Hyland Hall for a class will agree that Hyland Café provides the perfect pick-me-up before or after class. At the corner of Kressler and Linden Streets, Hyland serves soups, salads, sandwiches, and a great cup of joe. Students can occupy comfy booths and sofas on the 1st floor of Hyland Hall to enjoy their food. Students cannot use their mail plans at the café.

Personally, my favorite dining location is a tie between the Fresh Food Company and Bleecker Street. I love the fact that I can eat multiple dishes at the FFC for only 1 meal swipe, but the sandwiches at Bleecker Street make the best lunches!

Valentine’s Day

This Saturday, the smell of chocolate and roses filled the air across campus. Valentine’s Day is a lovely opportunity to take some time off and spend it with the person you care about. But, because college students typically aren’t rolling in cash, it is sometimes difficult to buy presents or go on a fancy date. Here are some date-night and gift ideas for the savings-minded college student!

Date Night

1. Rent a movie. The Redbox kiosk in the DeNaples Center offers over 100 titles to rent or buy! Renting a movie costs only $1.99. You can hook up your computer (via an HDMI cable) to one of the TVs in the dorms and enjoy a relaxing night in. Don’t forget to buy movie snacks!

2. Go out to dinner. There are several places in downtown Scranton that sell entrees for under $20. Kildare’s, Osaka Sushi Bar, Thai Thai, and Thai Rak Thai are all within walking distance from the University.

3. Get coffee (or tea) together. Northern Light Coffee Shop in downtown Scranton provides the perfect cozy, warm atmosphere for a rendezvous. As an added bonus, the shop provides board games for their customers to use (I’ve seen RISK, Othello, Trivial Pursuit, Stratego, and Chess!).

Gifts

1. Roses. This year, a student sold roses on campus to raise money for her service trip. The nearby Mulberry Bush Nursery also provides tasteful flower arrangements.

2. Sweets. Who doesn’t love chocolate?! Candy is a staple at both PODs on campus, and the Mulberry POD provided heart-shaped cakes for sale as a Valentine’s Day special.

3. A Mix CD. This is a sweet, more personal gift than roses or candy. The bookstore sells blank CDs and cases, and if you have an iTunes account it is quite simple to burn songs onto a CD. A CD of your favorite love songs would surely make your other half smile!

What to Do on a Snow Day

Today I woke up to a lovely automated telephone call informing me that the University would be closed because of bad weather. Delayed openings and snow days are an intrinsic part of attending a school in the North. So, how do you get the most out of your snow days?

1. Sleep in! You were probably up late the night before, so treat yourself by sleeping for an extra hour or two. If you sleep for longer than that, you might feel lazy.

2. Spend a little bit of extra time at meals. I tend to rush through meals when I know I have assignments to complete. Today is the perfect day to allow yourself to digest without anxiety in the company of friends.

3. Catch up on work. Snow days are essential for completing all the straggling assignments that you didn’t have the time or energy to finish the day before. It will feel so good to know that you are completely caught up on your work.

4. Get ahead on work. It will feel even better to know that you did your homework for the next day or two. Your week will be majorly less stressful if you can devote a good chunk of your snow day to completing future work.

5. Spend time with your friends. You can spend more time with your friends, perhaps watching a movie or getting coffee together, and you won’t feel guilty about it!

6. Have some “me-time.” Do whatever de-stresses you and makes you happy. For me, that includes reading for fun, painting my nails, going to daily mass, and exercising. Giving yourself a leisurely break on a snow day is crucial in recharging your mind and body to work hard for the rest of the week.

New Beginnings

Welcome back, everyone! Our new semester started today, after a rather exciting announcement on Monday that cancelled classes due to a snowstorm.

This semester, one of my goals is to master time management and refine my study habits. I despise the feeling of going to bed knowing that I have not finished all my assignments for the next day. To this end, I have already made and customized a schedule that I hope will help me utilize my time to the best of my capabilities. For people like me who need things to be neat and color-coded, I highly recommend using an online schedule maker. This website is one of the most tasteful and easiest to use that I have found. I find it very helpful to schedule not only the times of my classes, but also the times that I work and the times that I should be preparing material for future classes. Of course, I also schedule in time for exercise, meals, and relaxation. If you make time for the things that make you happy and healthy, you have no excuse for not being happy and healthy!

One of my challenges this semester is going to be keeping up with assignments that require daily time input. For Trivium, I need to keep a field notebook of “word specimens” and write them down daily. For Virtue, Vice, and Christian Ethics, writing assignments are due each class period. I hope that being proactive now about scheduling will make it easier for me to complete these assignments and not fall behind midway through the semester.

I am so excited (albeit a little nervous as well) to get into the nitty-gritty of the semester. Here’s to another new beginning!