5 Dorm-Friendly Ways to Be Vegan

This article has been syndicated from Hey It's Camille Grey, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here

When I headed to college, I was already vegan for a whole year. I had a bit of knowledge on the subject under my belt, which helped quite a bit. But, I was still nervous about keeping my diet healthy and it took some time to adjust, but I was able to find a ton of ways to stay vegan in college!

Whether it's researching what your on-campus dining facilities have to offer or getting a little creative with dorm cooking, being vegan while living in a dorm is honestly super doable. Here are some of the easiest ways that an on-campus student can stay vegan. 

1. Find campus nutritional info

I would be willing to bet that almost all campuses have an online website where you can find the nutritional info and ingredients for all the meals served on campus. If you have trouble finding it, try searching through the dining section on the campus website. Before I left for college, I wrote down a huge list of everything I could eat. This made it so much easier when I would go out to eat with my friends. I didn’t have to hold up any lines by asking if there was dairy in a meal or not. I kept that list on my phone so I could access it at any time. This is one of the easiest ways to be vegan in college while living in the dorms!

2. Stock up on snacks

I personally always kept a gigantic bin of snacks in my dorm room. There were many times that the only things open late at night were the junk-food places on campus. I kept a bunch of healthy (and junk) snacks so I would always have food on hand. 

I also had a mini fridge, where I would store snacks like hummus and veggies that were super yummy and convenient. Because a mini fridge is, well, mini, it can be hard to store a lot of fridge-only food if you are sharing it with a roommate or two. I tried my best to stock up on food that didn’t need to be refrigerated, such as bananas, apples and avocados.

3. Make your own food

Depending on where you live, you may not have access to a kitchen. If you do, take advantage of it! I made a lot of my own meals in the kitchen. Our kitchen was shared by over 600 people, but you would be surprised how few times I had to wait to use it. I could almost always quickly make something whenever I wanted. When you do get the chance to make something, double or even triple the recipe so you have leftovers. I had containers full of leftovers to get me through the week.

I made oatmeal most mornings of college. It was really easy to add oats, almond milk and some toppings to create an entire meal that kept me full for my morning classes. You can always make overnight oats if a microwave isn’t an option for you!  

If you don’t have a kitchen nearby, see if you are friends with someone who does. Maybe one of your friends lives off campus and doesn’t mind you borrowing their kitchen for an hour (you can always entice them with your yummy food).

4. Buy a blender

A vegan’s best friend is usually their blender. I always kept spinach and frozen fruit in my mini fridge to make smoothies at any time. Check to see if your campus allows blenders in the dorms and if they do, make sure to add it to your packing list. You can blend up soup, smoothies, banana ice cream, cashew cheese, and so much more. 

5. Find vegan cafes nearby

This tip is way more fun than the rest. Sometimes you just feel like eating out at a vegan place. Most times, college campuses don’t have those, so you will need to go off campus. During finals week, I would hit up some local vegan cafes to study and treat myself to a yummy meal. Every once in a while, it’s nice to have someone else cook a meal for you. I did this a couple times throughout the school year.

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