We asked Lancs students ‘If 2020 was a uni meal what would it be?’

Bone app the teeth x

No one needs to be reminded of how 2020 has not lived up to the glimmering expectations we had. We expected more Great Gatsby-esque “Roaring Twenties” not this nightmare that we’ve been given. There are many ways to express how dismal and infuriating this year has turned out to be, and we have opted to use food as the perfect metaphor. Stick with us on this one.

Uni meals are sloppy, ill-prepared and disappointing, and Lancaster student meals are no different. On a student budget, sometimes all there is in the cupboard is a slice of bread, tinned tomatoes and a tin of sweetcorn – so you have to get inventive. The culinary skills of students are often limited and being able to work the microwave, oven and hob at the same time, and that is an accomplishment in itself.

Everyone holds low expectations for student meals, and as for 2020, do we have any hope left?

“Pineapple on pizza” – Bella, first year

Controversial point. Bella said that 2020 is the epitome of pineapple on pizza because: “some people just still can’t see how shit it is.” For those who haven’t had to self-isolate, they truly can’t comprehend how horrific this pandemic is.

“Cereal with water” – Vitoria, second year

It’s just not acceptable, is it? No one should ever pour water over cereal – Shreddies deserve better. You’re letting yourself down, your flatmates down, and more importantly you’re letting down those knitting nanas who used to be on the Shreddies adverts. Shame on you.

“Kale” – Rhiannon, first year

Everybody needs a bit of veg in their diet, but nobody wants to eat kale everyday of the year, just like everyone likes a bit of alone time now and again, but nobody asked for a national lockdown. Rhiannon said that kale is 2020 as a meal because: “nobody likes it and everyone feels shit after having it.”

“Spar’s potato mash” – Hejan, post grad

This just got personal, why Spar specifically? Hejan said that the mashed potato has “no flavour at all!” Sums 2020 up.

“Poached egg that doesn’t run” – Amber, third year

“You think it’s going to go well, then it doesn’t.” Mood.

“A raw onion” – Adam, second year

Not much else to say than the fact that onion “makes you cry” and I think we have all done a lot of that this year.

“Out of date, undercooked chicken curry” – George, first year

Chicken curry is “the gift that will keep on giving for days to come” because you end up making too much and have no idea what to do with it, just like having so much free time in lockdown you don’t know what to do with yourself. Soon you just get fed up of leftover curry you start to wish you never craved it in the first place.

“Cottage pie” – Dan, first year

Who wants mince and mash together? It’s a no from me. Now, you can easily defend this Great British staple, however, sometimes it just can go horribly wrong and you end up with grey meat underneath sloppy spuds – not exactly Hell’s Kitchen, is it?

“Undercooked pasta with baked lettuce” – Tom, third year

This meal just makes no sense and is unnecessary. Didn’t even realise you could bake a lettuce, you learn something new everyday. Either that, or maybe you just shouldn’t be putting certain things in the oven. Ah well, it’s 2020, things can’t get worse, right?

“Sandwiches without the crusts” – Alice, second year

A sandwich is a bit dire without the crusts, “What’s the point?”

“Burnt garlic bread” – Olivia, second year

When you put the garlic bread into the oven you have high hopes but then you leave it in for too long and it burns. Lockdown has burnt the garlic bread and now it’s ruined. Garlic bread is either undercooked, or it’s burnt. What happens in that “between ten and twelve minutes” time slot is a mystery. I’ve lost my appetite.

“Pot noodles” – Georgia, second year

Pot noodles just don’t fill you up and 2020 has left everyone dissatisfied.

“Empty tub of ice cream” – Rebecca, second year

2020 is like “when you go to the freezer thinking you have half of a tub of ice cream left but it’s all gone.” The disappointment is unreal.

“Overcooked pasta” – Megan, third year

“Overcooked pasta that’s fallen from the sieve to the sink and you’ve only got a knife to eat it.” Says it all.

“Microwaved jacket potato and tuna” – Mathew, second year

The microwave is the number one friend to a student within a uni kitchen, but according to Mathew, 2020 is like a microwaved jacket potato and tuna. He said it has “no flavour, no nothing. Just disgusting.” Jacket potatoes need to be crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside – microwaving the potato should be a crime, and you’re left with a potato-shaped rock that is now hotter than the sun. Good work.

“Rice and gravy” – Dom, first year

Never tried rice and gravy and I didn’t realise this was a meal. It sounds rather disgusting, two ingredients which should never go together. Like 2020, this never should have happened.

“Burnt toast” – JB, first year

Put the bread in the toaster, starts to smell of smoke, ignore the signals, keep the toast in, fire alarm sounds. Too late now, you’ve burnt the toast.

“Marmite on toast” – Katherine, first year

You either love it or hate it. Either you are a student thriving with online learning, pausing the lecture and taking the time to make the perfect notes, or you are sleeping all day not wanting to face the catastrophe which is uni in lockdown. There is no in between.

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