Sage Advice: The Dos and Don’ts of On-Campus Eating

The culinary options at Lawrence can sometimes be difficult to navigate, especially as an incoming student who is new to Bon Appetit. Variety Editor Claire Zimmerman and Features Editor Andrew Brown offer some wisdom to help anyone who may be struggling.


  1. Pick a Table in the Commons before getting food. The eating area fills up quickly, especially during the lunch hours. Make sure you secure a seat before you get your treats.

  1. Plan an order that matches your schedule. If you have class in five minutes, get some of the pre-prepared food. If you have plenty of downtime, hang around with some friends and eat some chicken tenders.
  2. Take time to figure out all the options. Sign up to get emailed a daily menu for both the cafe and the commons on the Lawrence website, or take a second to look at all the options before getting into a line. It will save time and prove to be more satisfying.
  3. Use the corner store for a more personalized meal. If your class schedule doesn’t open up enough space for lunch, stop down their and stock up on some snacks or quick meals. The corner store is the best friend of busy Lawrentians.
  4. Share swipes and culinary cash with friends in need. Finals week is already stressful enough, and it will only be worse if you’re sitting on 114 meal swipes and your friends are bargaining with the devil for some cul cash. Be a friend and swipe someone in!


  1. Don’t move anyone’s items and take their seat. There is plenty of room for everyone in the Commons. Ask a person if they mind moving down a seat if you really need the space.
  1. Don’t complain about the speed of the service in the cafe. It usually takes between five and fifteen minutes for an order to be ready, so be patient—they are working as fast as they can!
  1. Don’t get stuck in a routine. It is really easy to get sick of the same food every day, so mix it up and maybe try something new! There are always daily specials in both the cafe and the commons, so skip that cheese pizza and take advantage of those more unique options.
  1. Don’t purchase things in the corner store. The fresh produce may seem convenient but unless you plan on eating it all, maybe try fixing that craving with a yogurt parfait or a caprese cup. Food waste is not cool, friends.
  1. Don’t blow the whole meal plan in the first three weeks. It can be hard to resist getting a coffee every day, but the culinary cash will be gone before midterms. Try picking some days to splurge and other days to be stingy.