Letters from the dorm: When hunger strikes, order in

Letters from the dorm: When hunger strikes, order in

Food in English schools has always been notoriously bad. Until I went to boarding school, I was led to believe that I would be served plates of lukewarm slop for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was, however, happily surprised to find that much of what I have been given is actually quite reasonable.

Of course, there have been a few dishes whose descriptions would make any rational person's stomach contort, but when these were served, I was prepared with something no overseas student should ever be without: local takeaway menus.

From the town's burger joint to the resident Chinese takeaway, these heaven-sent pieces of paper can cure your hunger when you just can't stomach the school food, or tease your tastebuds when you simply fancy an enjoyable Saturday night meal in front of the television.

But, BE WARNED: many a student has fallen prey to the curse of the bad takeaway. Always research any new places before you call in your order, either by asking a senior student or by doing a quick Google search.

Of course, takeaways cost money, so you might need to ask your parents for a larger allowance. If, however, this is not for you, there is another option: join or start a food committee at your school. This way you'll be able to influence the choice of food your parents are already paying for.

At Winchester College, there is both a school-wide group and a set of in-house food groups. As a member of a house group, I can attest to the success of such a structure. Just last week, we (the committee's members) each submitted a two-week menu plan of the dishes that we'd like to see more of. These were compiled and cut down to form a four-week menu, which will be put in place in the second half of this term. This shows effort does produce results.

You can either be proactive and take control of your diet at school, or take the easier path of the takeaway. The choice is up to you (and your wallet).

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