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    Hi, I'm starting at St John's next week, and I'm really looking forward to it. I have a question about the cost of food.

    From experience, I know that for some reason I eat like 3 times an average person of my size (high metabolism maybe...?). I was wondering then if it would be better to cook for myself instead of eating in Hall? Usually, when I'm eating out in a restaurant, I never get completely full. Eating a double portion is way too expensive.

    One of the arguments against cooking for myself is that eating in Hall is much more social. Also I don't have to spend time cooking. However, it is probably not a good idea to walk around hungry all the time.

    For those who already are studying at Oxford, or better, at St John's, do you think I should cook for myself, or does the college have an alternative for those who eat more than usual? Certainly, there must be some athletes at St John's who eat a lot, do they all have to cook their own meals?

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by MDTat)
    Hi, I'm starting at St John's next week, and I'm really looking forward to it. I have a question about the cost of food.

    From experience, I know that for some reason I eat like 3 times an average person of my size (high metabolism maybe...?). I was wondering then if it would be better to cook for myself instead of eating in Hall? Usually, when I'm eating out in a restaurant, I never get completely full. Eating a double portion is way too expensive.

    One of the arguments against cooking for myself is that eating in Hall is much more social. Also I don't have to spend time cooking. However, it is probably not a good idea to walk around hungry all the time.

    For those who already are studying at Oxford, or better, at St John's, do you think I should cook for myself, or does the college have an alternative for those who eat more than usual? Certainly, there must be some athletes at St John's who eat a lot, do they all have to cook their own meals?

    Thank you!
    I'd be very surprised if there was a rule against having two portions at dinner and from what I'm aware (I'm not at St John's), St John's has some of the cheapest food in Oxford so it's possible. It would be a bit weird though and also it depends on whether you're prepared to pay double the amount at meal times (e.g £2.50 -> £5.00 maybe?). Also at least in my college most people do eat in Hall so you would be missing out by never going.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I'd be very surprised if there was a rule against having two portions at dinner and from what I'm aware (I'm not at St John's), St John's has some of the cheapest food in Oxford so it's possible. It would be a bit weird though and also it depends on whether you're prepared to pay double the amount at meal times (e.g £2.50 -> £5.00 maybe?). Also at least in my college most people do eat in Hall so you would be missing out by never going.
    Thanks for your quick reply. So at your college you are allowed to have two portions without paying double? I'm not sure how St John's does it, but when I stayed there for my interview it was the kitchen staff who served the food, and I was under the impression that you were only allowed to walk through that queue once. However, I will ask them to be sure. As you say, I really want to eat with everybody else in Hall.
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    (Original post by MDTat)
    Thanks for your quick reply. So at your college you are allowed to have two portions without paying double? I'm not sure how St John's does it, but when I stayed there for my interview it was the kitchen staff who served the food, and I was under the impression that you were only allowed to walk through that queue once. However, I will ask them to be sure. As you say, I really want to eat with everybody else in Hall.
    No, I meant they will probably let you have a bigger portion or go for seconds but you would have to pay more. You definitely can do that in my college but I've never eaten in St John's so I don't know how it works there, sorry :nope:. Good luck though.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    No, I meant they will probably let you have a bigger portion or go for seconds but you would have to pay more. You definitely can do that in my college but I've never eaten in St John's so I don't know how it works there, sorry :nope:. Good luck though.
    Alright, that sounds fair. I can probably ask for a bit larger portion then, and maybe have some emergency food in my room. Because I'm a bit tight on the money, so paying double for food will probably not be a good idea. Thanks!
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    I was the same. So were a lot of my sporty male friends. Its hardly unusual in a group of young people.

    I was at Merton not Johns but my experience was that the portions given out at hall meals were... not exactly average. Other people would describe going to hall once for lunch then not needing to eat again until the same time the next day as the portions given were so huge for them.

    Even so, if I needed more food my options were: a) Eat leftovers off of other people's plates. Some people would not do this for this thing called 'dinner manners', but my understanding was that they did not apply if you were a rower b) be nice to the hall staff and they will give you a second dinner. Like, a whole second dinner. Or third if you were truly masochistic (this was spare food that was going in the bin otherwise, but a limited supply to only available like half the time) c) have additional cheap food at other times. The kebab vans around Oxford are good in that they do things like jacket potatoes with salad as well as the standard carton of grease. Our bar did toasties for £1. I could have things in my room like instant mash potato (delicious - i will fight you if you say otherwise), simple sandwich stuff, cereal (primarily an evening food), fruit etc.

    But cooking for yourself is a good and cheap option too. Just because you can go to hall, doesn't mean you have to. Certainly, to do it every day would be pretty pricey no matter the subsidy. And cooking can be social too - get a group of 2-4 and agree to cook something together. 1 very social evening sorted.

    Have fun at Freshers!
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    There's no reason why you can't have the best of both worlds - eating in hall, then cooking another portion (or having snacks around) for later in the evening. I assume if you cooked for yourself you'd eat double the normal portion right? So you could eat in hall, then later in the evening just cook half the portion you'd normally have to eat alone. We can't really tell you what to do - try eating in hall for the first week, then just eat again in the evening if you feel hungry...
 
 
 
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