Neubig or Nightmare? The Cortland Dining Hall Experience

I entered through the doors of Neubig Hall around 7 p.m., and just as I feared, the place was a chaotic mess. I couldn’t get three feet into the doorway before being stopped by a long line of hungry college students waiting to get scanned into the dining hall. It is like this every damn night.

Everyone and their mother seems to go get dinner at the exact same time.

As I waited in line to get scanned in, I couldn’t help but overhear the dozens of conversations that were going on around me. In front ,of me someone was telling his friend about the test he took earlier that day. I don’t give a damn about how you did on your test. I just want to get my food, eat it, and get the hell out of here.

Students wait in line an Neubig Hall.
The only things you can be certain of in life is death, taxes, and waiting in lines at Neubig Hall.

After standing in line for five minutes, I finally got scanned in. As I walked up the stairs to the dining hall, I mentally prepared myself for the second line I would be waiting in: The line to actually get my food. If there’s one thing you learn while being a student at SUNY Cortland it’s this: the only things you can be certain of in life is death, taxes, and waiting in lines at Neubig Hall.

I grabbed a fork, knife, and spoon, and reluctantly went to the back of the line to wait for my food. While standing in line, you occasionally see jerks who sneak in front of everyone because his friends are “holding them a spot.”

Another five minutes went by, and I was finally towards the front of the line. I took a peek at what was on the menu for that night. Huge mistake. I practically lost my appetite at the sight of what the dining hall called ‘Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry.’ Nasty. it looks like something I would puke up after a heavy night of drinking. I opted to go for the pizza, the only decent looking food they served.

As I walked from the food line I knew that the hardest part of my trip to Neubig Hall was about to take place — trying to find myself a seat. Finding a seat in the dining hall is the biggest pain in the ass.

Here I stood, a lone ranger, looking around for a place to sit and eat my pizza in peace. Literally, every table was taken. I could even pick out the different groups that were occupying each table.

You had the sorority table, the frat table, and the jock table. Hell, even the nerdy kids from history club had a table.

Meanwhile here I was, living every college student’s worst nightmare: having to eat at the dining hall alone. As I finished my initial scan of the room, I spotted a table with only two people sitting down. I quickly approached the two students and asked if I could eat at their table. Thank God they said yes. If they hadn’t, I would’ve resorted to eating my food while standing, which is probably the single most awkward thing you could do at Neubig Hall.

I sat next to my two table mates in silence as I devoured my pizza.I wanted to eat my food as fast as possible, not because I was extremely hungry, but because I wanted to get the hell out of there.

The two people I was sitting with were talking about politics. Of all the things in the world to talk about, they had to argue about why they either love or hate our almighty ruler, Donald Trump. If there is one thing I hate, it’s having to listen to a conversation you don’t give an iota about. Which is exactly what was happening as I sat at this table.

After a couple painstaking minutes of listening to politics, I was finally down to my last bite of pizza. I shoved it into my mouth, jumped out of my seat, and put my dishes in the washroom. As I walked out of the dining hall, I looked back at the fiasco I just had to deal with. In a way, I was relieved to finally get out of there but in the back of my mind I knew I would have to repeat the whole process over again tomorrow.

I can’t wait.

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