Accepting The Paper Plates of College

Coming to college can be a rude awakening in more than one way, and this is certainly no secret. Whether it’s overcoming the much feared “freshmen fifteen”, sucking up your pride by eating dinner cross-legged on the floor with a paper plate in your lap, or simply budgeting (or rationing) out your food for the week, the struggle is real.

In reality, the impending dark cloud of weight gain can be approached head-on or with a few side-steps along the way. The number one thing you should always keep in mind that just because your roommate, sorority sister, or teacher’s body looks a certain way doesn't mean that yours has to. It’s never okay to shame another girl for the way her jeans fit, or because she eats a bag of Cheetos for breakfast. That’s perfectly okay. 

After all, it just so happens that not everyone eats a plate of perfectly cooked eggs, lightly browned butter-less toast, and a side of steaming black coffee for breakfast. These days, Mom isn’t around conveniently around to whip up fresh blueberry pancakes anymore, so it’s likely to turn to a foil-wrapped PopTart instead. 


Another change that comes with eating in college is the fact that the silver platter  you grew up being served on, has now turned into a paper plate with a half-used napkin on the side. We’re here for a good time, not a long time after all, and dishes aren’t the top priority on our to-do lists. Also, we are broke college students, let’s not forget this little tidbit. Long gone are the days of glass, china, and ceramic- welcome to the life of mini-fridges, disposable silverware, and limitless uses for paper towels. 

Finally, eating in college isn’t always accessible, and this is where snacking comes into the picture. Therefore, one must either find a really good hiding spot, or trust their roommate’s willpower and morals. Snacks are a double-edged sword for college students, especially when the dreaded phrase of “freshmen fifteen” sneaks her ugly face around the corner. While it may be frowned upon to walk through the dining hall buffet line in pajamas, you can eat Oreos in your room wearing anything you want, or nothing at all. Snacks can both get you through the day and the hunger swings, or they can ruin friendships and create mortal enemies when the last cookie is suddenly nowhere to be found. 

In the end, when it comes down to embracing differences in eating habits, tastes, and routines, we’re all in this together. It’s all about accepting the changes for what they are, and going with the flow of your body, budget, and new lifestyle.

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