College and Veganism Can Be Friends

Going into college, I was only vegan for slightly over a year. With all of the adjustments I had to make between living with two girls to having to wear flip flops in the shower, I did not want my food to be a source of concern. I was quite nervous the first few times I walked into the dining halls. I imagined being the only one at my table of friends with nothing on my plate; I worried I would have to buy all of my food off-campus. I had always been able to pick out my food at the grocery store, and I always cook my own food, so going into an environment where I would not be able to read the labels or know what I would be eating was a big (and frightening) switch.

I wish I could tell my first-week freshman self that THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. In fact, since coming to school, I have tried so many new foods, created some incredibly yummy meals, and even inspired many of my friends to try the vegan options. Here at the University of Rhode Island, there are multiple vegan options whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you are a college student looking to try out veganism, I truly encourage you to try it while you have the vast options available to you on campus!

I have created delicious mixes at Mainfare’s stir fry bar, tried new vegan foods I had never heard of (and ended up really enjoying them), and with the salad and fruit always stocked, I find familiar comfort. I try to always mix in a fair share of beans, grains, veggies, and fruits to my meals. Before I know it, I have come to realize I have the most colorful, and sometimes, most nutritious plate around. Being able to keep my lifestyle thriving is so important to me, and I am grateful to say that I am in a place where it is possible. I highly encourage everyone around me to consider going vegan- it is better for the animals, your health, the environment, and it gives you a chance to think more deeply and get more creative when preparing meals. 

If you have been looking for a sign to change your life for the better, here it is. If this is not enough, try one of the dining hall’s vegan oatmeal raisin cookies- that should do the trick!