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8 Foods College Students Are Thankful For

Staying full is harder than it looks when you can’t rely on home-cooked meals and grandma’s cookies. As I have come to learn, getting creative with food items that can be stored in a mini fridge or a container is the way to go. We college students are thankful for foods that are reliable, affordable, and quick to make!

1. Easy Mac’n’Cheese

There is nothing better than heating up a cup of macaroni and cheese. Most students have access to a microwave on a college campus, and it takes under five minutes to complete. There are to-go options sold by a variety of brands, so if you’re looking for a particular flavor, your local grocery store will most likely offer it.

2. Ramen

While ramen is known for its lack of health benefits, the cravings are powerful. There are many options regarding the flavor, the condiments, and even the brand, but the true satisfaction comes with its price. Ordering Asian food is not always convenient, as it may be pricey and take a while to deliver; however, you can’t really go wrong with microwavable noodles that will be ready in a matter of minutes!

3. A Loaf of Bread

I know, I know. Bread? Although you may think a loaf of bread is boring, a college student sees it as five different meals. Are you hungry in the morning? Bread and jam. Are you hungry during the day? Bread and melted cheese. Are you craving a late-night snack? Bread and peanut butter. It is all about utilizing the other foods in your fridge to make the most out of a loaf!

4. Hummus

Hummus is delicious with many snacks – carrots, celery, crackers, or even atop a slice of bread. It doesn’t take up much room in the fridge, along with being very effective in spicing up healthy alternatives.

5. Salsa

As a mid-day snack, college students may opt for whole-grain tortilla chips and an organic bowl of salsa. Salsa is both tasty and light while keeping your stomach from grumbling during class.

6. Cereal

Whether you’re looking for an early breakfast or a quick snack on the way to class, cereal is reliable. If stored properly, it can last a while and does not create a mess. You can also buy the heart healthy or low-fat option as an alternative to the brands that offer cereal with a high sugar content.

7. Instant Coffee

When a college student is tired every morning, coffee is a perfect booster. It is easy to warm up a cup of water or milk, add soluble coffee crystals, and carry on! Especially if you don’t want to spend money on coffee from the store, a container of instant coffee often lasts a while since only 1-2 spoons is needed per serving.

8. Microwavable Popcorn

At the end of a study session, a bag of fresh popcorn is very rewarding. You may even consider adding salt, sugar, or even popcorn seasoning to intensify the flavor. When all of it is gone, you throw out the bag and go to sleep happy.

As college students, we eat on a budget. When we go home, we utilize the resources that university housing may not be able to provide. However, since most of our time is spent on campus, it is the convenient yet filling foods for which we are grateful!


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Yasmeen Najjar

Illinois '21

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt
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