5 Dining Hall Tips

When we go off to college, we often don’t appreciate mom and dad’s home cooked meals until we walk into Mills on the first day, scared out of our minds. You have never felt so awkward in your life. Surrounded by upperclassmen who know exactly what they’re doing, you’re not used to being the freshman again. You approach the bagel station because it seems that’s the only safe option at the time. Suddenly it’s just you and your roommate frantically looking for a seat in the corner as you feel everyone’s eyes on you, judging your inexperience. Well, no need to worry! Here’s five tips to a successful trip to the dining hall!

1. Be Creative!

I’m one month in and I know dining hall food can get a little boring. Seeing virtually the same selection of food every time you walk in can be a turn off. Creativity is key! Don’t be afraid to ask the staff questions about the food and different options available. Try taking foods from station to station and combining! The staff will be happy to help you out!

2. Switch it up!

Eating the same things day after day can get old real fast. Trying new foods and new stations is a great way to add excitement to your dining hall trip. Don’t be afraid to go out of the box every once in a while. Hey, you might find your go-to food!

3. It’s okay to sit alone!

College isn’t like high school, it’s okay to sit alone. The dining hall can also be a really good place to be productive and get work done in a relaxed environment, or just have a little time to sit alone and eat. I’ve noticed that you will appreciate the small windows of time during the day that you have to yourself.

4. Make Healthy Choices

Let’s face it; being healthy in college isn’t easy. You’re always tempted by the snacks in your dorm and fried food all around you. The dining services make a conscious effort to keep healthy choices out there every day, make the right decisions.

5. Be Respectful to the Staff!

Please and thank you goes a long way! If you’re respectful, you will get respect right back. Remember, a lot of the staff in the dining halls are your fellow classmates, so be nice.

I hope these tips will help you stay happy and healthy in the dining halls!

Karly Boyd is currently a Sophomore at SUNY Oneonta. She is a double major in English and Sociology with a Human Services concentration. She hopes to one day work in Public Health. In her free time, she enjoys doing makeup, going to the gym and hanging out with her best friends.