Your New Favorite Dining Hall Hacks

The dining hall can quickly and easily become a dreaded place where the options are incredibly limited and can constantly feel like there is nothing that you want to eat. I am just about to finish my first semester of freshman year and I am already over dining hall food but I have discovered some tips on how to prevent this (slightly).  

1. Pick one thing. 

The portions are small and I often find myself needing more than the first serving than I receive but instead of getting something new, I will just get the same thing twice. By only having one type of dish each meal, you can prevent yourself from repeating meals and getting tired of the options too quickly.

2.  Timing is key.

The dining hall can often be extremely busy and crowded, especially at dinner and breakfast on the weekends. This can cause lines to form at all of the stations and result in you having to wait 10-15 minutes just to get a meal that you may not even like or want. By avoiding the extremely busy times in the dining hall, you can avoid the chaotic environment.

3. Stick to the basics.

There will be times when I take a lap to see all of the options and there are just none that I want to try. Whenever this happens, I always stick to the basics and get a sandwich that I am able to customize to whatever I want that night. The salad bar is another good way to have something simple but allows you to at least be creative as you build your meal with ingredients of your choice.

4. Fruit.

They always have cut up fruit that is a good option at the end of your meal if you are still a little bit hungry. There isn’t much variety when it comes to the fruit, but they do also have apples, oranges, and bananas that you can take back to your room for later that night, or even the next day.

5. Treat yourself.

If I ever have a night where I am just not feeling whatever food that they are serving that night, I will usually let myself get an ice cream to fill me up. The soft serve ice cream machine is so good and always makes me feel better when I’m upset about the dining hall options. You can also treat yourself to a change of scenery by either eating in a different dining hall, or even by eating out.

I hope that these tips help you make the dining hall a more bearable, enjoyable place where you can always eat something that fills you up in a good way. Always remember that even if you don’t have the best dinner food-wise, it is always a fun time to hang out with friends.


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