Sophia Hoffert is a Ball State Honors College student with a double major in Spanish and Public History. This semester, Sophia is working with Honors College faculty member Dr. Obed Frausto to produce a lecture series about the democratic decolonization of science and technology. In her spare time, Sophia runs the @perfect_8.80 Instagram account.
Navigating the world of meal swipes can be difficult, especially when you’re new to the dining services system. Filling up your $5.25 breakfast swipe, or $8.80 lunch and dinner swipes perfectly can seem next to impossible. Honors College student Sophia Hoffert noticed this, and began documenting every time she perfectly filled up her own meal swipes. What began as a personal hobby has transformed into a popular Instagram account, where she posts the photos of perfect meal swipes of students all over campus. We were able to sit down with Sophia and talk to her about the process of creating and curating the Instagram.
How and when did you get started posting perfect meal swipe pictures on Instagram?
I started in January of last year when meal swipes were still at $8.60. I would just always get really excited whenever I got a perfect $8.60 like, “Oh, hey I got like a $5.05 for breakfast,” right? “Hey, look, I’ve cheated the system,” I guess. So, I just liked taking pictures of them, and the pictures were kind of crowding up my camera roll and so I was like, “What if I just make a silly little Instagram?” and start posting them. And so that’s how it started.
How have you reacted to the response to the Instagram? Did its popularity surprise you?
I think I had like maybe two followers like the first week it started. But it’s really just blown up from there. I did not expect people to be as interested in pictures of meal swipes as they are. It’s just kind of blown up and turned into this huge thing that I had no idea that there was a want or a need for in the community. People are so, so cool.
How does the process of receiving and posting the pictures work?
I have bunch of people every week that send me pictures of a perfect meal, then I add a description of that [the meal]. I tag them in the picture and then I upload it. And last time I checked, we had like a little under 700 followers or something. Apparently Ball State Dining mentioned it in the presentation at orientation.
If you feel like you need help filling up your meal swipe, the @perfect_8.80 instagram account has plenty of pictures for inspiration. Got your own perfect meal swipe? Snap a photo and send it to @perfect_8.80 for a chance to be featured on the page!