Welcome, first years, to the epicenter of your social life. Dine morning, lunch and evening in the expansive Mabee Dining Hall, filled with an array of options to choose from. If you’re on a meal plan, which you most likely are as a first year, the majority of your meals are prepaid. A meager amount of the funds as an underclassman are dedicated to Bonus Bucks — the holy grail of Trinity fine dining — which are redeemable at the Coates Dining Hall and in any of the PODs. Students, be vigilant of this amenity. Use Bonus Bucks sparingly. I know the forces that be want you to enjoy the glory of Einstein’s, Freshii and Taco Taco, but those funds deplete quickly. I have experienced the debilitating sense of monetary loss firsthand by buying one turkey club too many and suffering the consequences. (Granted, that was partly thanks to the long winter we had that year — a season I never wear enough layers for — and thus I bought turkey clubs to press against my chest so that the bag would warm the rest of my body up while I trekked to my dorm.)

Mabee has a wide range of food to select from, too. There’s a stir-fry section, a salad bar section, pizza and pasta line, sandwich area, omelet station and what I like to call the “home fried cooking” line. The week’s menu can be found online at trinity.campusdish.com. Hours announcing its opening and closing times are also posted on the site, which can be helpful during weekends and holidays.

There are optional, participatory activities that can be observed while there. After lunch or dinner, you can see plenty of people waiting in line for fresh, warm cookies. It’s a fun pastime. Just sidle up and observe hoards of bodies around a table for freshly made cookies, straight out of the oven! It’s a delight. Or, drink any non-alcoholic beverage you can imagine. Have your shot at sodas, coffee, ice tea, sweet tea, milk, chocolate milk and the special water flavor connected to the Powerade dispenser, offering a fun surprise for your taste buds.

Now, I’ll clue you into the gossip surrounding Mabee. Some students have opposed the catering company that provides food in our dining hall. Yes, there is the occasional food mishap, and eating in the same large rectangle for years makes everything monotonous.

But consider how often the dining hall’s service is requested. There are over 2,000 students at Trinity; as a rough estimate, at least half of those students frequent Mabee. Three times a day, hundreds are ushered in and out of the double doors and the staff has to keep up with these bodies that stream through the space. Because of this daily migration, it feels like the cooks are always cooking, the dishwasher is always in use and tabletops are constantly being sanitized and wiped down. So despite your sense of taste and our sometimes lofty expectations of the food services provided, it is important to thank the workers who spend so much of their time feeding our bodies and cleaning up our messes. They do their best to make sure we do our best. How wonderful is that?