The school has two dining halls, both with pretty standard college buffet food. The variety sounds good—pizza, pastas, made-to-order sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, salads, and ice cream are only a few of the daily staples—but nothing is of very high quality. Most students don’t mind the food at first, but they get really sick of it sometime around Halloween of their freshman year. This is about how long it takes to realize that all the different foods have the same greasy taste. Even the salad and the ice cream are almost indistinguishable if you don’t look at them.
Freshmen usually start with the comfortable 14-meal plan, which allows for 14 meals at the dining hall per week. Unless you were raised on Sizzler, you’ll probably drop that to the eight-meal plan for your second semester, which is the minimum UM allows for a student living on campus. Either plan gives the student “dining dollars” that can be used like a debit card at the restaurants on campus. The 14-meal plan comes with $150 in dining dollars per semester, and the eight-meal plan gets you $200. This money is pretty valuable since UM has an excellent selection of fast food restaurants on campus. There’s a food court with Nikos, Panda Express, Jamba Juice, and Starbucks, and there’s even an overpriced take-out sushi bar if you feel like blowing all your dining dollars on the first day. Other places to eat include Sbarro, Subway, and the Rathskeller, a sports bar and popular meeting place. If you don’t use all of your dining dollars by the end of the semester, you can always head over to the campus convenience store and spend the remainder on junk food and prehistoric donuts.