At first, simple things like eating seem trivial compared to the excitement of being on our own. But once we’re settled in, food becomes a real priority. Although our lovely campus provides an array of choices, dining halls are a staple for those of us dependent on our meal plans.
From my short time here in Aberdeen-Iverness, I’ve picked up some simple tips from my older floor-mates (and my own mistakes) to make dorm cuisine a little more manageable.
- Don’t show up too early. There are few things more disappointing than walking into breakfast at seven and realizing nothing is ready yet. Give them some time to set up…unless you plan on eating seven dollars worth of cottage cheese and shame. Speaking of shame, know the hall hours – few things are worse than realizing you’re starving after the dining halls have closed.
- Eat a balanced diet. Yes, you can survive off cookies and ice cream for a quarter, but chances are you won’t feel too good after. Ever notice that the guy bouncing off the walls on a sugar high at eleven at night is a zombie dragging himself out of bed at noon the next day? Ladies, have you ever looked at that zombie and thought, “Man, I wish I could get a date with that guy”? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
- Be conscious of your meal plan. If you have the 120, it’s probably not a good idea to try and eat 3 meals a day in the residence hall. Do a bit of math and figure out how many meals you get a week and plan accordingly, and don’t forget to use your dining dollars!
- Keep some snacks on hand. Whether they’re from the C-Store or the grocery store, it’s a good idea to have some snacks in your dorm when you’re just not ready for a full-on meal. Check out the organic market by the University Book Exchange on Big Springs Road, or hunt down the Food for Less off University Ave (which I’ve only heard rumors of since my navigational skills are nearly non-existent) and pick up something to munch on!
- Find eating buddies. Find someone with a schedule similar to yours and plan on meeting up for lunch or dinner. Although eating alone is not as bad as you may think, it is really nice to have someone to chat with, and having a friend around significantly reduces the amount of awkward eye contact made with strangers.
- Try new things! The dining halls are the best place to try something new since it’s relatively risk-free (you don’t have to be that guy at the restaurant sending your order back). Take a break from your PB&J and get adventurous!