Conversations by Candlelight: Athletes Graduating from Meal Plan

By SAM MATHAI

There are many differences between freshmen and seniors. Seniors are objectively funnier, and the existential dread of existence looms much larger over our heads. Still, seniors, freshmen, and everyone in between needs food to recharge after grueling lifts and sweaty practices. How we go about hunting and/or gathering that food, though, has definitely changed since our freshman year. I sat down with the majority of the men’s lacrosse team to hear what life is like having left the meal plan behind.

“I eat less vegetables,” admitted senior Matt Rockwell when I asked him how his diet has evolved over the course of his Colorado College career. And junior Carter Richardson agreed, adding, “The only time I buy vegetables is when I buy steak kebabs.”

“I also don’t eat a turkey/avo/bacon sandwich (TAB) from Benji’s every other day…which is kind of nice,” Rockwell said, pondering how his life had changed since his rastall days.

“Which, of course, saves us seven hours of waiting per day, and about $700,” chimed in Nate Sweet without an invitation.  Though I considered his addition unwelcome, he wasn’t wrong. We no longer rely on Bon Appétit for sustenance, which can be good. It can also be very dark.

The single most obvious downside of cooking for yourself is the lack of the Rastall dessert bar. I never walk into my kitchen to be greeted by three different pies, two cobblers, and some gluten free and vegan cupcake options. The only thing I see is a sad, battered party pail of rainbow sherbet. It isn’t the best sight in the world, but it certainly isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen in my home either.

I have personally witnessed such lows as Nate Sweet eating Ritz crackers and a bowl of Cheerios for dinner. Once, when we were running low on almost everything, I subsisted on spinach artichoke dip for multiple meals (which isn’t the worst thing, in all honesty).

It is worth mentioning, though not entirely related, that Matt Rockwell once ate a chicken salad sandwich from a gas station. This was not desperation. He enjoyed it. Witnessing that was a low point in my life, but apparently not in his.

I called freshman lacrosse player John Churchwell to remind myself what it was like to have a team of people dedicated to making sure I am fed. I asked to meet him in Rastall for old times sake (hoping for a swipe), but Churchwell is already over Rastall, and suggested we go to Chipotle instead.

We discussed a phenomenon that is unspoken but known to everyone on campus. There is a certain abdominal discomfort that accompanies repeated trips to Rastall. “It could kill a skinny kid,” explained Churchwell. I had forgotten. I can’t say I miss it.

He also echoed Sweet’s sentiment, saying he has wasted at least ten days of his own life in line at the various eateries around campus. Though some days I miss Rastall, I don’t miss the lines. I have to say that I am much happier as a senior, making my own food. I’ve nearly poisoned myself dozens of times and I’ve almost burned my kitchen down. These are risks I’m willing to take though, if it means I never have to wait in a line around the block for eggs ever again.

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