Amidst Lawrentians’ busy routines of academics, athletics, and extracurriculars, it is so important to get enough food to nourish and energize ourselves for the school day. Coming back to boarding school after living at home all summer can be a big adjustment for many; this change can also have a large impact on eating habits, as many might struggle adding dishes previously unfamiliar to them in their daily meals at Lawrenceville. Given that there are only so many hours in the day and limited meal options on campus, eating nourishing foods can often feel unrealistic. But here are some things you can do to try to mix your meals up as much as possible.
First suggestion: try eating something before class. I personally find myself feeling more productive and sufficiently less tired on days when I eat before class, even if it’s only a cup of cereal that I grabbed from the dining hall. Tsai Commons for breakfast is an everyday go to. Grab some cereal or fruit, make yourself an omelet, or try whatever else is offered for the day. The omelet bar is a personal favorite—there’s an omelet for every occasion. Make an omelet with cheese, peppers, ham, tomatoes, and spinach for a full balanced breakfast or cook an egg sunny side up with some bacon and cheese and slap that on a bagel for your very own “Tsai Egg, Ham, and Cheese Bagel.” Speaking of, bagels are such an easily transportable breakfast and perfect if you're on the run. If that’s not for you, every once in a while I will spend my mornings at Starbucks, where students can study and finish assignments before class while also grabbing coffee and an egg sandwich. The Gingered Peach is also an option for breakfast, as they serve delicious pastries, muffins, and drinks that students can grab on special occasions with their friends.
As students at Lawrenceville, there are often days that feel jam-packed, so having easily accessible food to grab on those days is very helpful. Having snack options available in your dorm room is perfect for a quick breakfast or grabbing something to eat between classes, during consultation, or before athletics. A perk of this option is the ability to choose some healthy snacks to ensure that you get food with enough nutrition. Tsai also has plenty of fruits and cereal snacks available during meal times, so you’re able to grab a few bananas and put them in your fridge for future consumption. Personally, I love stopping at Tsai between classes to make tea for a midday pick me up. Concessions are also available within Houses and are ideal for late-night snacks. Additionally, Houses provide delicious Saturday night feeds every week for a quick treat before bed. Past feeds include PJs Pancakes, Acai bowls, homemade Puerto Rican food, or Chinese. No matter your preference, there will be a feed to satisfy your cravings.
UberEats and DoorDash are also options—though by far the priciest of all. Although ordering puts a strain on our wallets, these services allow us to purchase food of any cuisine and have it delivered to us at any time. Realistically, this option isn’t attainable for everyday use, but it's a useful resource when arriving on campus at 8 PM after an away game at Blair or Mercersburg.
The Bath House Café is always packed with students during lunchtime, as it serves popular meals including pizza, mac and cheese, and sometimes even sushi. The Bath House has a great environment and atmosphere for both socializing and studying, even if you don’t buy anything to eat. While many of us think Main Street and the Bath House offer the best meal options, purchasing from these places without moderation can be very expensive.
So what is the trick to getting adequate food each day at Lawrenceville without going broke in the process? The best advice I can give is to take full advantage of Tsai. As someone who did not go to the Irwin Dining Center as frequently, I am striving to follow my own advice this year when it comes to Tsai. As a picky eater, I tend to prioritize getting the foods I know and love. However, I feel that it is important to expand my horizons and try new foods; Tsai allows students to do just that. I’d recommend widening your Tsai palette before relying on external food sources. Learning to cook the perfect wok is both extremely useful and rewarding, especially for life beyond Lawrenceville. Additionally, along with the three meals offered on any given day, Tsai also offers other choices for each meal. A healthy option to add some vegetables and greens is the salad bar. There are new toppings and dressings to experiment with all the time. Make kimchi fried rice using kimchi, the omelet bar, and rice. Mix Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and olive oil for a refreshing salad dressing. Along with the salad bar, take advantage of every option offered: try out the wok bar, make an omelet for breakfast, or have some fruit with your meals. With various options open for students on Main Street, the Bath House available to fulfill your cravings, and many offerings available at Tsai, I encourage you to mix up your meals this year.