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The Hunger Games

As the semester begins winding down, students seem to be winding up: scrambling to book flights home for the holidays, fretting over that growing pile of laundry, and, let us not forget, partaking in the sacred tradition of the study-induced midnight munchies. Late night studying goes with late night snacking like college kids go with booze. Amidst the chaos of finals season, you may find yourself indulging in midnight milkshakes and double espressos, a dangerous combination that not only will make you a statistic of the age-old phenomenon Freshman Fifteen, but will also deplete your meal plan money faster than ever.

To relieve some of the final exam jitters consuming students this time of year, here are some mind-easing tips to help you get through that to-do list while making those last dollars on your meal plan cover the rest of the semester.

Dieting caffeine junkie:
Skip the overpriced frappuccino and trade in for a Poor Man’s Latte: order an espresso over ice, then use the self-pour pitchers to mix in the milk and sugar to your liking. This cheaper alternative will save you from overspending and from the infamous Freshman Fifteen (as long as you don’t add too much sugar and milk).

Bum off a friend:
We all know at least a few people who have seemingly absurd amounts of extra meal plan money just waiting to be spent on a freeloading friend. Seek them out before they blow their extra dollars on meals for other moochers.

Pimp my ramen:
A sad cousin of the chicken parm, ramen noodles can be dressed up with some marinara sauce and leftover chicken. A modern take on classic college cuisine, this microwave-ready dish eliminates the high price tag of Italian gourmet while providing the same satisfying taste. Almost.

Starving artist:
If you’re desperate, sit in the dining hall and offer to draw caricatures of people in exchange for a meal. Not Picasso? Channel your hunger into musical artistry, and do an interpretive dance expressing your famine. Perhaps someone will pity you and buy you lunch.

Good company and good food:
Skip the costly Park Ave take out and gather your fellow hungry friends for a makeshift barbecue: buy a pack of hotdogs and buns, and put that contraband George Foreman to work. Try not to set the smoke detector off.

Play the poor college card:
If all hope is lost, call up your mom and sweet talk her into refilling your R-card with a little extra money to get you through the last few weeks before break. If you have a really awesome mom, she might even send you some homemade cookies to get you through exams.

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