A brief stroll through both levels of the new cafeteria at a quarter-to-seven last Tuesday confirmed my original suspicions: I am, in fact, the only individual on campus who thoroughly enjoys the joint. I love Leo’s for the same two reasons that everyone else abhors it: 1. It sucks. 2. It sucks.

Though it may lack any other redeeming characteristics, like it or not, that place instills many more valuable life lessons than your Introduction to Accounting class. For those who have yet to fully realize the great service the Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J. Dining Hall provides for you, I’ll do my best to articulate its message. But, please, do not act as if you have a birthright to a life of luxury dining, or any of the other opulent comforts you enjoy at home.

Yesterday, a pink-shirted girl was heard whining to a similarly pink-shirted boy, “Do they really expect us to degrade ourselves by eating this?” The pink-clad boy thrust his hands into his seersucker shorts and shook his head in disgusted concurrence. The initial shock of hearing the girl using such an erudite word as “degrade” quickly passed, and it hit me that her comment was serious. She stormed out, most likely off to find a meal that was more fitting for someone of her status.

Most students at Georgetown are in training to do something worthwhile with their lives, but have not yet reached the greatness to which they aspire. We are not at the point in our existences where the “don’t you know who I am?” attitude works. Just because your mother, your cook or a combination of the two worked tirelessly to provide you with delicious meals catered to your every whim, it does not immediately follow that you deserve the same treatment at college. Perhaps now, having tasted mediocre food for the first time in your life, you can appreciate what you had before, and, with some luck, will have again.

Since prehistory, college undergraduates and prison inmates have been fed similar diets. It is not the food that is changing, but the students. Past generations have survived the college dining experience without acting like pampered ten-year-olds – why can’t we?

Today’s kids lack the skill of their predecessors in dealing with such intense adversity. It is shameful. Stop crying. Grow some fortitude. A little humility might not be such a bad thing either. Your inflated sense of entitlement needs more fixing than the salad bar.

I am not speaking to most of you. The vast majority of you are decent human beings who understand that you are far too old to be whining. Wearers of pink, do not be offended, I only take issue with two members of your large and ever growing community.

Those to whom I do speak, you know who you are. You are about to cast this paper into some makeshift trashcan on your way to cashing in your meal plan. But before you go spend that money on exotic dried fruit, mulling spices and stilton cheese at Dean & Deluca, ask yourself this: Will you be missing out on part of the education you came here for?

Patrick W. Schmitt is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service.

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