The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Commons


There’s a popular saying that goes: “common knowledge isn’t that common.” 

Even less common than common knowledge is Commons knowledge. That is, knowledge on how to effectively and efficiently use Bates’ dining hall in the age of COVID-19. Here are ten rules on how to make the most out of your gastronomical outings while riding out this pandemic. 


1) Designated eating times are a suggestion

Here’s a fun fact: I have literally never gone to Commons at my designated time. To be completely frank, I don’t even know what my mealtime is. You can go into Commons any time you want. They won’t stop you. Just keep your head down, and keep walking. 

Bonus fun fact: it’s the exact same with the testing center.


2) Stock-up

Act like the snacks Commons provides are toilet paper and you’re a Karen in March of 2020. 


3) Bring your insulated bags, or else you, and your food, will perish

I don’t need to bring a bag, I’m just going to get a box of hot food. Oh, you poor, poor uneducated fool. Don’t make this rookie mistake, you’ll always want more food than you think, and without one of these nifty devices, you’ll be stuffing water bottles and bananas in your pockets. 


4) Six to seven is the dinner rush

It can be fun going to commons when a million people are all in line for dinner if you’re into that type of stuff. There are lots of awkward waves to people you think you recognize, but you can’t be sure of their identity because of their masks. 


5) Charge your Air-Pods

The line can’t be that long.

Yes, yes it can.


6) Make sure to check everything

I myself have made the error of not doing a full lap of Commons before leaving each time. Only last week did I learn that there were desserts. 


7) Use the side exit

The ice surrounding commons will be here until July, so get used to making your way around it. 


8) Get the black cutlery, not the white

While the little things do make a difference, big things make an even bigger difference. Such is the case with the forks, knives, and spoons that Bates hands out. The white cutlery has the tensile strength of an uncooked noodle, while the black silverware is currently being used for construction materials on the new science building. 


9) Specify Serving Amount

You never know what one person’s idea of enough edamame is.


10) Always say “thank you” to Commons workers

This is more than just common Commons courtesy; the people working at Commons deserve to be recognized for their efforts. The bottom-most level of hell is reserved for those who walk out without saying “thank you” to the person manning the desk. 


It’s gonna be a while until we get the chance to eat inside and ignore the trays at Commons again, so keep on keepin’ on Bobcats.