BOWDOIN EXPRESS: Colloquially known as the “C-Store,” this convenience store on the lower floor of Smith Union is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the weekends. Swipe your OneCard for late night pita chips and hummus or ice cream (try Maine’s own Dolcelino cookie sandwiches), stay to replenish your stock of basic medications, or get another package of just-add-water pad thai or brownie mix.

THE CAFÉ: Upstairs in Smith Union. Check the board for daily specials and seasonal drinks, and try the Sunrise Smoothie with a shot of espresso for an afternoon pick-me-up. Opens at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays, closes during the dinner hours, then continues to caffeinate most nights until midnight. Accepts Polar Points, OneCards and cash.

JACK MAGEE’S EXPRESS: Cash in on a OneCard meal credit between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. (weekdays) to select items for a quick bag lunch. Rotating entrees include veggie Caesar salad wraps, pepperoni focaccia pizza, and burritos; all lunches include chips, fruit, cookie and a cup of soda.

JACK MAGEE’S PUB AND GRILL: This popular Smith Union venue hosts comedians and trivia nights, satiates your late-night, fourth-meal cravings for curly french fries and quesadillas, and offers phone pre-ordering so your buffalo chicken calzone is waiting when your study group ends. Closes at 12 a.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday to Saturday, and accepts OneCard.

USING ONECARD DOWNTOWN: Load your OneCard up with money for laundry, and spend the extra dollars downtown when you swipe to pay at Domino’s Pizza, Aki Sushi, Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe, Flipside Pizza, Henry and Marty, and Joshua’s Restaurant and Tavern.

PEPPER FLIP: A Bowdoin dining hall social phenomenon. Make a bet to someone (“If I make this pepper flip you have to eat soft serve with your hands / wear a toga all night,” etc.) and flip the pepper shaker. If they accept it and you land the shaker right-side-up, they have one chance to rebut the bet with their own chance to “land” a flip. If they don’t make it, they have to fulfill the bet. On the other hand, if you land the pepper shaker upside-down on the table, you must complete the bet instead. Traditionally, you only get one flip per meal (no practice rounds), but the rules vary.

POLAR POINTS: As a first year, you begin each semester with 100 “points,” which work as OneCard dollar equivalents in all of the above Bowdoin dining options as well as various vending machines (located in Smith Union, Coles Tower, Stowe Hall, Osher and West, Hawthorne-Longfellow library basement vending cafe, and Farley Field House). Most people run through these quickly and end up restocking OneCard funds online, but it’s all about the pacing—there’s no rollover if you don’t finish your points by the end of the semester.

SUPER SNACK: Come to Thorne Thursday to Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. to eat nachos, cookies, grilled cheese, hot dogs and other comfort foods under neon lights to a soundtrack of guilty-pleasure sing-a-longs in the background. Swiping in counts as one of your meals, so budget accordingly.

Book for Family Weekend at:
Trattoria Athena or Enoteca Athena. Alleviate your winter blues with a visit to one of Brunswick’s two havens for Greek and Italian food. Mason jar glasses and twinkly lights set the scene, with fried risotto balls, hearty fisherman’s stew, and syrup-soaked vanilla custard filling the table.
Also try: Henry and Marty’s, Frontier Cafe, El Camino.
Laze here instead of doing your homework on Sundays:
Wild Oats. It won’t take you long to move past the floral nursing home interior and seize the daily smorgasbord of homemade soups, salads, cakes and baked goods.
Also try: Little Dog Coffee Shop, Bohemian Coffee.

Have your birthday dinner at:
Little Tokyo. This Main Street staple has a back party room available for all your sushi, udon, bubble tea, and fried tempura ice cream dreams to come true.
Also try: Little Saigon, Scarlet Begonias, Shere Punjab.

When you just can’t face the dining hall:
Flipside. Feast at this farm-sourced pizza joint on Main Street with a 12-inch $8 personal pizza; toppings (with highlights like maple-roasted bacon, roasted Anaheim chilies, and fresh basil) are 50 cents a piece. Individual slices vary by day and are priced $2.50-$4.
Also try: Lemongrass Vietnamese Restaurant, Big Top Deli.

If you can borrow someone’s car:
Fat Boy Drive-In. This retro drive-in across from Brunswick’s Naval Air Station serves up thick frappes, loaded burgers, and killer onion rings with both a nostalgic checker-floored interior and drive-in curb service. The fact that it’s only open March to October makes it all the more appealing.
Also try: Mae’s Cafe and Bakery in Bath and Thai Villa on Pleasant St. close to the highway.