Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.
There isn’t a more social place on all of the UMass Lowell campuses than Fox Hall Dining Commons. One could rebut and say that the dining hall on South campus, the apartments on Merrimac Street, or one of the sport’s houses provide a better setting for social gathering, but I stand by my statement. I know it because I see it. I know it because I live it. If I am not strong enough of a primary resource, then the facts may convince you more…
1. 1) It is the center place for the 2,000 (about) students who live on East and North Campus
2. 2) It is open on weekends, whereas South campus is not (why?! It’s as confusing to me as it is to you.)
3. 3) It is located above Sal’s Pizza, Taco Bell and the POD Marketplace (supremely convenient)
4. 4) The name “Fox Hall Dining Commons” is a name for fame within itself
Ultimately everyone who lives on East campus, those located in Eames Hall on North Campus, and South campus students (on weekends) must visit Fox Hall Dining Commons if they want to eat without spending an excess of money.
My favorite time to go to there is the morning. If you arrive before 8:00 am, you will find all of the ROTC, honors students, and whoever else is brave enough to wake up early enough before class to make it to the dining hall. It is a generally peaceful time. Although I often feel like I’m trying too hard when I see the students arriving in their pajamas who rush away from me as I retrieve my yogurt because my outfit screams that I am way too ready for the day. What can I say? It’s necessary to arrive before 9:30 am if you plan on getting an omelet without having to wait 20 (or more) minutes (Although I will admit, the wait is worth it!).
Lunch is pretty scattered and boring and consists of individuals (often boys) running in between classes to eat a meal that most people skip due to the common 14-meals-a-week plan which only allows you to eat two meals in a day. Besides these scavengers, around this time the dining hall consists of mostly students who wake up later than the early birds who have just missed breakfast.
Dinner is the most social-able time of all. Right around 6:00 pm the dining hall becomes close to impossible to navigate due to its full capacity. There are the students coming straight from class or who are grabbing a bite right before class, those who are famished due to their work-out at the gym (but who, at the same time, still have the time to re-apply make-up before their arrival), those who have waited since 4:00 pm to eat but are just arriving now, and the rest who really don’t care what’s going on with the rest of the hungry students and who have better things to be doing/thinking about.
Visiting the dining hall can actually be considered intimidating to most. It is uncomfortable enough having to visit a large number of your peers, most of which you don’t know, every time you wish to eat a meal. On top of that, dinner, and sometimes breakfast, in Fox Hall Dining Commons involves waiting in lines for food you don’t want to admit you are excited to eat, and the huge decision of where you are going to sit and with whom. For a freshman (or anyone, really) this whole process can be considered stressful and tiring.
I could go on in detail about the social interactions, and lack of interactions, that occur in the dining hall between the hours of 7:00 am and 8:00 pm, but there isn’t anything I could say that those of you reading, and/or who go to Fox Hall Dining Commons, wouldn’t already assume or know. A little advice though (that I tell myself everyday), there is no need to try so hard; we are all human 🙂 .