Few things in this world cannot be solved, or at least temporarily mended, with ice cream. Which, in the past few semesters, was slightly harder to find in the dining halls. 

After its pandemic-related disappearance, I was overjoyed to discover that the soft-serve ice cream machine had made its return to its rightful place in McEwen Dining Hall at the beginning of this school year. And like some things during the pandemic, such as concerts and indoor dining, I only appreciated it more after it returned.

There’s a lot of things to love about Elon Dining, like the special pop-up events or their wide variety of options, but the simple pleasures of ice cream put the McEwen machine at the top of my list. 

It only offers two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, which is just the right number and an even better combination on days I decide to mix the two. Plus, the toppings next to the machine allow you to make a few additional flavors if you so choose. I think a to-go cup from the dining hall is best enjoyed close to closing time or on the way to class, but loading a cone high with ice cream tastes just as wonderful. I’ve been known to eat ice cream for breakfast but the possibilities are endless.

There’s a lot of health claims made about ice cream, but there’s nothing wrong with everything in moderation. There's also a reason eating ice cream straight out of the carton in movies and television shows is a tried and true trope — it makes people happy. Although I no longer have a meal plan, I do enjoy my visits to the machine in McEwen whenever I am swiped in. Life’s full of simple pleasures and I don’t plan on taking the machine for granted again.