Lazy Boy on Campus: The dangers of convenience store food

"Lazy Boy On Campus" is a weekly column on how to embrace laziness while maintaining a jam packed schedule. Easy, right?

Storrs Center is the pinnacle of off-campus attractions, especially all the food that is available. Student's have access to Indian food, pizza, Chinese, sushi, tea-shops and more. (Mike Mozart/Creative Commons)

Ah, Storrs Center - the pinnacle of off-campus attractions. Everything that you can think of in terms of food can be found there. There’s Indian food, pizza, Chinese, sushi, tea-shops and more. The place has bars and fancy restaurants. If that’s not enough, in the next few weeks a sports bar and a Chinese barbecue location are opening as well. For the lazy person on campus, Storrs Center represents a nice way to break away from the boring world of dining hall dinners or whatever thing you make in your apartment to make it through the week. Variety is the spice of life and Storrs Center brings all the spice you could ever need. It also contains a dark and deadly secret.

Not everything in life is great, and if you frequent Storrs Center then you know that not all food establishments rank highly on the list of “good food.” I am of course talking about 7-Eleven.

7-Eleven serving food may come as a surprise to many of you as you only go to the convenience to pick up batteries or a bag of chips once in a while. The store boasts a wide variety of “fresh” food including taquitos, pizzas, hot-dogs, burritos and even chicken wings, all of it clearly frozen before being heated up and left out under warming lights.

This food, while not good-looking is not that bad. And eating it now and then is also not bad– within moderation, that is. See, the food is what you would expect from a convenience store, it’s satisfying at the beginning, but after a little while it will just remain in your stomach as a sad, small, ball of mush. You will definitely regret it later on. It’s good in an emergency or for a quick snack, but that’s really it.

I learned that the hard way. Where I come from, there aren’t a lot of convenience stores that sell food. And if there were, my parents weren’t really big on my sister or me actually getting the food at one of them. Something about the food not being super good for you. So prior to coming here I had never experienced that kind of food availability.

At the beginning, I never considered getting food there. It didn’t appeal to me. I had a meal plan and that was fine with me. I’d stop in every now and then to grab a soda or a candy bar, but that was it. Then one evening I finally cracked. I was coming back from orchestra rehearsal around 9:30 p.m., which meant that Buckley was closed and I had no desire to walk to South. So I stopped in at 7-Eleven, got a hot dog and went on my way. Unfortunately, that would just be the start.

Like all college students, my friends and I would stay up late playing video games, studying or even just talking. 7-Eleven quickly joined that equation. It would be the only thing open at three in the morning, making it the perfect place to go for a late-night snack. Realistically, I could have planned ahead for midnight snacks by stocking my dorm room fridge, but for some reason that never really occurred to me. That and 7-Eleven was a much easier solution for the lazy boy within me.

This 7-Eleven snacking continued into my sophomore year, though at times it was more full-on meal eating than snacking. All of this came to be after a very heavy evening of partying, when my friends and I went to 7-Eleven to grab some food so we could continue “partying.” Everyone was fine at the moment, but the next day a few of my friends were really sick. I’m not talking like flu or coughing sick, I’m talking like, almost Buckley-plague-level sick. That, combined with the fact that I had recently seen the calorie count associated with 7-Eleven food, turned me off it for basically good.

So remember: Storrs Center is a great break from what’s available in the dining halls and is a perfect lazy alternative to making food for yourself. Just make sure that you don’t fall into the horrible trap that is convenience store food.


Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and opinion’s staff columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email amar.batra@uconn.edu. He tweets at @amar_batra19.