Bad food, the Freshman 15 and Ramen noodles are all synonymous with college, however, instead of bad food memories – it can be a time to expand your palate.
While there are many different variations of how students live, type of dining plan and their weekly budget, there are ways you can feel like a foodie rather than a poor college student eating dining-hall food. Here are a few:Utilize your dining plan. This is especially true if you have a food plan. Try to not waste money buying off-campus food when you have it readily available.
Take the fruit - It’s acceptable to take a piece of fruit with you when you leave after a meal, many students do this - capitalize on this perk.
Be adventurous - So you’ve never eaten tomatoes before on your salad? This is the perfect time to experiment. Set out to try one new thing a week - expand your list of foods that you love by being experimental.
Be kind, courteous and friendly. Want to have a good dining experience in college? Then become friendly with the dining staff. Find out their names, get to know them – ask recommendations, as you become friends you may at times be able to ask for items to be cooked in ways that are more appealing to you. They enjoy it when students enjoy their food, being kind and courteous always pays off.
In your room - Most students keep a stash of food in their room, a small refrigerator won’t hold many fresh foods so that leaves you with the choice of mostly non-perishables. Choose wisely - non-perishables are designed to last, so many times they are full of preservatives that are not good for you. Find snacks that are natural such as nuts, seeds, proteins and fats of the good kind.
Off-campus eating - It’s inevitable that there will be times when you need a break from dining hall food. Amazingly, you can have a good meal at a price that won’t break you. Here are some suggestions:
- Buddy system - The goal is variety, not quantity, so go with a friend and split a meal. Restaurants do this all of the time, and generally, their portion size is large enough that you will have plenty.
- Pizza and sandwiches - These are all items that can be shareable and you can easily have them delivered. You can also piggyback on someone else’s order, and it might save you a few dollars.
- Groupon - A downloadable app that can be customized for the area you are in and offers food deals - many times at half price.
No matter your situation – be creative and deliberate. Try new things as well as healthy choices, and college eating won’t be a bad memory for you!
Want more help in preparing for college? Download PropelU's free ebook, 5 Things Every Student Should Know Before Choosing a College.