Grab ‘n’ Go was created for the sake of convenience. It is meant to help out the over-achieving, overly busy and overly exhausted college students that Georgetown seems to cultivate — a goal for which it has most certainly accomplished. Yet its implementation has also succeeded in adding some solid pounds onto my physique, and I don’t think I’m the only guilty one. The sad part is, the “freshman 15” excuse does not really apply to me anymore. Now as a sophomore I attribute the blame to the next best thing: Grab ‘n’ Go. While there has been a lot of commotion about the lack of dining options at O’Donovan Hall, this topic has become a tad cliche. As a transfer, I know from experience that Georgetown students have a pretty decent dining facility in comparison to those at other universities. I would instead shift the critical eye to another, perhaps less suspecting, perpetrator.
Let’s begin with the convenience factor: Grab ‘n’ Go’s locations are horrid. Now, unless I plan on inhaling a sandwich before a business meeting in the Georgetown Conference Center, I would hardly say that the back alley of the Leavey Center is an ideal place for such an establishment — especially right before having a class in Car Barn. It is not exactly standard behavior to sprint down O Street with tuna salad oozing from the sides of your mouth as you attempt to be friendly and wave to your fellow classmates. I’d say it’s more of a recipe for disaster — especially when that collision between you, your tuna salad, and a random kid inevitably occurs after clumsily turning the street corner.
Leo’s is the other home of Grab ‘n’ Go, and while this location makes more sense, the floor plan of the walk-through dining option does not. During prime-time meal hours I have been witness to Grab ‘n’ Go lines out the door, everyone waving their trendy green mesh bags in fury. The space itself boasts the square footage of about a Village C room. I have encountered a frustrating amount of traffic jams there, most incidents occurring when someone turns out from the snack section to grab a water bottle that sits at an awkward angle.
This brings me to the convenience of the food choices that make their way onto the Grab ‘n’ Go menu. Honestly, the portions are quite large. Unless you can shove a good sized salad down your throat in under three minutes before making it to your next class, it is impossible to open, dress, toss and eat your salad while traversing library walk. And even if you want to eat your meal in class — who wants to be that kid who causes the pungent aroma of onions, olives and feta cheese to waft through the classroom; or even worse, the reason for the awkwardly rustling chip bag because he can’t find the right break in the professor’s lecture to open it?
Speaking of chips, here comes the pound-gaining. Of course you could grab two green bananas and a mealy, bruised apple. But not only would it take you a good 90 seconds to find that perfectly unripe banana, grabbing three bags of barbeque chips is just exponentially more appealing. Those bags of twin chocolate chip cookies seem to have your name written all over them as well.
Alas, I often turn to Grab ‘n’ Go when, because of my awkward schedule, I have no one to eat with. I have considered asking people on the Grab ‘n’ Go line if they would want to enjoy our packaged meals together, but then I think to myself: They might actually be grabbing and going for the convenience-illusion sold to them by Georgetown’s Dining Services. So, my lunch date becomes me, two bags of chips, a sandwich and the “Modern Family” episodes I am in dire need of catching up on. And there you have it, the perfect recipe for the sophomore sequel to the freshman 15.
Julia Shwartz is a sophomore in the college.
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