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You always remember your first. Forbes Sunday brunch, that is. I had heard all the stories, from the infamous chocolate fountain and its ability to inspire love and spark excitement in even the most jaded of upperclassmen, to the long lines (for omelets) that were second only to those of the DMV.

Within the first few days of my becoming a Forbesian, I learned from the head of Forbes himself, Professor Michael Hecht, that the proper defense to any Forbes-directed bashing was “It’s worth the walk!” or more often, the simple and straightforward two-word retort: “Sunday brunch.” Somehow, the latter would silence the opponent, as they wracked their brain trying to belittle the institution of Forbes Sunday brunch with snipes about the less-than-opportune location or the maze-like black hole better known as the Annex. The cloud of mystery and intrigue shrouding this particular portmanteau was enough to make me set an alarm, just to make sure I wouldn’t miss even a second of the magic.

That morning, the excitement I felt as I opened my eyes can only be described as the elation of waking up and realizing it’s a non-denominational holiday that is usually celebrated on December 25/your birthday/[insert special day here]. I took special care choosing my outfit, dressy enough to offset my disheveled head of hair, yet stretchy enough to mask the imminent food baby, with a surfeit of pockets that would hold enough nondescript pastries and fruits to last me until dinner. (I ended up going with a thrifted cardigan over my pajamas, if you were dying to know the inner workings of my chic and trendy mind.)

The only thing left to do was wait. The clock read 8 a.m., meaning I had two hours of anticipating the bliss to come. I should mention that I am a morning person, which probably tells you a lot about me. Most days, I am awake before most of my sleeping/hungover peers and try to sneak into the laundry room before the rush. Usually I don’t mind my internal clock’s totalitarian rigidity, but the anticipation and hunger were unbearable.

By the time the pearly white doors were propped open, signaling that 10 a.m. had finally come, my friends and I had gathered and positioned ourselves strategically outside of the dining hall, lest we come a minute late and lose prime seating to the flood of non-Forbesian foreigners, who pillaged our food and ransacked our dining hall. The smell of food wafted through the kitchen doors and into the lobby, hinting at what lay beyond the dining hall threshold: the promised land.

Unfortunately, I honestly could not tell you what I ate that morning. I’d like to demurely say “a small yogurt and a single strawberry,” but it was probably more like “waffles, an omelette, toast, a bagel, muffins, a shit ton of bread, mac and cheese, everything that was on or near the chocolate fondue table that I subsequently drowned in chocolate, etc.”

I had to learn a hard lesson that day: There is such a thing as too much chocolate, and it’s right around your seventh chocolate-covered marshmallow. But, life is all about learning and growing, and I definitely did some growing that day. Nowadays, I try to pace myself so I’ll be able to walk to classes and only break into a socially acceptable sweat. But, hey! I’m in Forbes, so no matter where I’m going, I’m in it for the long haul.

There’s a reason why Sunday brunch is our claim to fame. The food is great, and the dining hall staff check up on me more than my parents do. But more than that, it feels like a family meal, complete with the chaos, pajamas, and food-induced coma. So come on down to Forbes one Sunday, bring a friend or ten, and see if you can’t find some great food and family.

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