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Why you should choose a dining hall date

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Students eat at the Ikenberry Dinning Hall and enjoy the multiple cuisines it has to offer.

Students eat at the Ikenberry Dinning Hall and enjoy the multiple cuisines it has to offer.

Jessica Jutzi

Jessica Jutzi

Students eat at the Ikenberry Dinning Hall and enjoy the multiple cuisines it has to offer.

By Nora Halleran, Supplements writer

Are you looking for a reasonably priced, romantic Valentine’s Day destination? A dining hall could be the perfect place for you.

It’s a relaxed, comfortable and casual place to grab a meal with a college crush. Some dining halls even have special menus for the day. Bromley Hall is celebrating Valentine’s Day by allowing each resident to bring a guest to dinner to enjoy a meal. In many other dining halls, you are able to swipe someone in to join you for dinner as well. The Illinois Street Residence dining hall is serving red velvet cake rolls for dessert, which is perfect for the occasion! And Pennsylvannia Avenue Residence late night is always a great way to go. Here are some steps to have a fantastic dining hall date:

Ask them

The bolder, the better. Ask the kid who sits next to you in your massive lecture in Foellinger if they want to grab some food. If he or she says no? Shake it off, there are thousands of other possible dates on campus.

Pick the time and dining hall

Everyone is very busy with different schedules, so it’s important to coordinate a time that works for everyone. You won’t want to be rushing in between classes or meetings, so dinner will probably work best! Choose a dining hall that has a menu that appeals to the both of you. Most dining halls on campus have a Twitter account or a website that shares its menus, and the University dining halls all have their menus posted on the app UIDining.

Dress appropriately

This, is in fact, a date in the dining hall, so there’s no need to bust out your finest attire. But don’t show up looking like a scrub either. Jeans and a top will suffice.

Choose the right table

Find a table where you can actually talk. The dining halls can often get loud and overwhelming, so pick a seat near the window where you can hear and enjoy your conversation.

Act like a gentleman; Act like a lady

We weren’t raised in barns — or maybe some of us were; regardless, use your best table manners and be polite. Offer to carry the plates or clear the table after. Ask questions about how your date’s day was and actually listen to his or her response. Stay off of your phone. Nothing is worse than trying to have a conversation with someone who can’t seem to put their phone down. Showing genuine interest in how someone is doing shows that you care and it will be greatly appreciated. You should also walk your date back to his or her dorm.

Have fun

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Going on a date in your college’s dining hall isn’t conventional, especially on Valentine’s Day. We’re all just broke college students trying to have fun without breaking the bank. Eating in the dining hall eliminates the awkwardness of deciding who is paying for what. And while it may seem silly to go on a date in a dining hall where the food can be slightly questionable, remember that it’s already been paid for. If you’re in good company, you’ll have a good time!

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