Students rush off campus, spend a whopping amount of money

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Students rush off campus, spend a whopping amount of money

Students leaving the Saunders parking lot by foot and car. Photo by Will Burkhart

Students leaving the Saunders parking lot by foot and car. Photo by Will Burkhart

Students leaving the Saunders parking lot by foot and car. Photo by Will Burkhart

Students leaving the Saunders parking lot by foot and car. Photo by Will Burkhart

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It’s lunchtime and students flood out of their classrooms, making their way to the parking lot to their cars or walking to nearby restaurants. Instead of staying on campus, many venture out to downtown San Anselmo and Fairfax to grab a bite.

From the time the lunch bell rings every day to the end of lunch, students have forty short minutes to get to their eatery of choice, order and eat the food, and either walk or drive back to school. 

“There’s barely enough time and, depending on what you want to get to eat, you can be late for class,” said sophomore Julia Ng-Heth, who prefers to pack a lunch from home, “Sometimes you have to eat when you’re walking on the way back.”

However, budgeting money is just as crucial for students as budgeting time. According to a 2015 survey by MoneyManagement.org, Americans spend around $20 eating out for lunch each week. Though many parents fund their children’s outings, eating out almost every day adds up to around $1,000 a year to the family budget.

“I think that eating out every single day is expensive, whereas if you eat at home, it’s not as expensive because you’re just eating leftovers,” senior Sarah Barsky said.

An average lunch costs about $8. If approximately half of the 1400 students at Drake purchase their lunch from off-campus businesses, around $5700 is spent in the community each day.

However, many may argue that the food is worth the high prices because of its quality and variety. Many upperclassmen, like junior Georgia Hooks, file out of the parking lot in their cars at the start of lunch each day. Although having access to cars buys more time than walking and access to a more diverse menu, this privilege isn’t available for everyone.

“For freshman and sophomore year, I got really bored of the Canteen food, and going off campus you have a bigger selection of food,” Hooks said.

However, some students live close enough that they walk to their house for lunch, which saves money and time.

“I go off campus every single day for lunch. I usually go to my house and maybe once a month I will go to Red Hill or Good Earth,” sophomore Jake Barnes said.

Is going off campus really worth it? It depends, it seems.