I just ate college potatoes for a week

It’s basically taking part in Veganuary

If there is one thing a Durham student loves, it’s a good potato.

Our regular debates about the best kind of spud and a new year’s resolution to investigate some hard hitting, highly relevant topics got me thinking. Why not try survive for a week on just potatoes?

I very quickly found out.

Day 1: Wednesday

I woke up feeling ready for one of the happiest days of my life, until I remembered that there aren’t any potatoes at breakfast. I powered through until lunch, where I was pleasantly spoilt for choice – both jacket potatoes and roasties.

Me with my one true love

My friends, as ever, were extremely supportive of my idea.

‘You’re going to get scurvy.’

‘You look like a potato enough already.’

‘But why?’

I felt pretty upbeat throughout the day, and even managed trek to Maiden Castle to play fifteen entire minutes of netball. I was ready for another plate of carbs at dinner until I realised that they only had roast potatoes. My sadness was exacerbated by the fact that everyone else had sticky toffee pudding.

I got told off for asking for a bite. It was a very difficult meal for me.

Day 2: Thursday

After a big Wednesday night (big up Missoula), I woke up for my 9am feeling pretty fragile. Downing a coffee and running to my lecture didn’t make it much better. Some regrets were definitely starting to set in.

Lunch was potato rostis, which, on balance, are a pretty good kind of potato. I felt less unwell as the day went on, but my stomach was still turning. I won’t go into too much detail about that.

We began running into problems in the evening, since I was on formal. I ate dinner beforehand, surprisingly pleased by the presence of curly fries. Despite being a bit of a blur, formal ended up with me eating not one, but two fondant potatoes, kindly donated to me by someone I have little memory of.

On a gluten free, plant based liquid diet

Day 3: Friday

Friday morning had me feeling very, very ill. Chips with no fish for lunch should have made up for it, but I was definitely sick of potatoes by now.

I think it was wedges for dinner but three days in and I was already giving up. I ended up eating cottage pie. Which is technically 50% potato.

Day 4: Saturday

Saturday brunch. The highlight of everyone’s week. The meal at which you sit and catch up with everyone, make your mind up to leave and actually work, decide against it and stay for another three hours.

I had three hash browns (and an apple, but I think that’s justified).

Face not included – too miserable for human interaction

I was definitely feeling hungry all day, but managed to fit in a solid 45 minutes of staring at my Economics textbook, trying to understand why I chose a degree involving Maths.

To appease my growling stomach and make myself feel better about my horrific diet, I had some salad with my dinner of skinny fries. A spot had started developing on my face, and I wasn’t willing to ruin all of my photo opps for the next three weeks.

Day 5: Sunday

Lunch was roast potatoes and dinner was curly fries. It’s not worth expanding on that.

My facial expression is highly representative of what eating potatoes for a week feels like

I was feeling pretty good after going swimming, but remembering the potatoes killed my mood.

Day 6: Monday

I lied. I’m sorry. It wasn’t a week. I gave up.

Lunch was fine; the diced herby potatoes (arguably the best kind) were probably my favourite meal so far.

After a tutorial and two lectures, however, seeing more chips in the dining hall made me want to cry.

I don’t care if my dinner looks like somebody shat on my plate. I just couldn’t cope.

There were at least 12 snapchats taken at this meal to commemorate my failure

The problem with just eating potatoes isn’t really the vitamin deficiency. Nor is it the hatred that you receive for just eating potatoes.

It’s the pure monotony of it, and the fact that it’s an incredibly depressing thing to have to spend your time doing.

Potatoes and I have almost made up now. I am continuing to eat them occasionally, and in moderation. I just don’t think I’ll ever feel the same way about potatoes again.

And that’s okay.