In Ardent Defense of the "Woco"
Dartmouth boasts many spaces to study and do work, from the bustling floors in Baker-Berry to the hidden nooks and crannies of Fairchild - but my favorite space has to be our dining hall. The upstairs booths in the all-you-can-eat, buffet-style dining hall, known to students as "FoCo" is where you'll find me. Though busy at times, I find that there are several benefits to a "woco" (work in FoCo) session.
One: Unlimited iced coffee. If there's one thing I love, it's iced coffee. Where else in the world can I get cup after cup, each fancied up with some creamer and copious amounts of hazelnut syrup? I can definitely get my coffee fix from other campus cafes, but something about endless iced coffee speaks for itself. This comes in handy during midterms and finals, when I am in dire need of caffeine. And, pairing the iced coffee with a treat from the dessert station always lifts my spirits.
Two: it's never boring. Foco can get busy, especially around 1pm for the lunch rush. This is usually my sign to take a break, say hello to some friends, etc., then grab something for myself, too (convenient!). The dining hall is a highly social space, which is nice when you're a bit of an introvert like myself. And, when foco gets too loud, I can look forward to the lulls (3-4pm is my personal favorite), when the tables get cleaned (thank you staff!) and new food items get rolled out.
Three: Affordability. First-year students at Dartmouth are placed into the unlimited dining plan, which essentially affords them unlimited access to FoCo. However, after your first year, you can choose a different dining plan if you so wish! I am currently on a different plan that does not include unlimited FoCo access - which is not something I mind at all, but when the term comes to an end, I have to manage my swipes and dining dollars a little more carefully. Staying in foco for long periods of time is becoming my end-of-term ritual, since I can continue getting food without using a swipe or dining dollars every single time.
I'll give it to you straight: I am not the world's biggest fan of FoCo. I am often busy and on the go, eating at the à la carte, grab and go-style cafes on campus - but, I have learned to appreciate a good "woco" session. I am provided unlimited fuel, and I get to do my work in a quiet booth all to myself. In my personal opinion, the woco deserves more love — I have several woco sessions planned for the upcoming days as the term rounds out, and I'm sure there will be many more to come.
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