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First Year Guide: Navigating the Dining Halls


Happy First Month, first years! In our thirty odd days at this beautiful university, I’m sure that we’ve all started to miss our family meals and favorite home-town restaurants. I’m certainly sure that the appeal of college dining has slowly but surely vanished. However, with the rest of the year left to conquer, there are ways to make the best of those unlimited meal swipes!

1. Create your own Salad.


All three dining halls—Runk, O’Hill and Newcomb—have fruit, vegetable, and lentil stations on a daily basis. When the other hot-food options aren’t too appealing, you can always make your own salad. If you’re not in the mood for fries or burgers, this is also the cleanest and healthiest choice. With the abundant variety of greens and toppings offered, your salads won’t become boring all that quickly. Sometimes, you can even incorporate the sides from different stations into your salad. Although it can be more work than quickly grabbing a prepared plate, the change will be worth it.


Photo by Kaboompics.com


2.Desserts for Days.


Typically, Newcomb has the most dessert options available, followed by O’Hill and then Runk. After long days, hard work-outs, or rigorous study sessions, you deserve a little treat! Cookies and ice-cream are always available, but many other desserts—such as fruit tarts, blondies, and cheesecake—are also in constant rotation. While it’s important to take limited advantage and stay health conscious, don’t be afraid to satisfy your sweet tooth once in a while.


Photo by Julio Melanda

3. Alternate, Alternate, Alternate.


When you find dishes you like, think in the long-run and refrain from having them all the time. Speaking from experience, it becomes really easy to get tired of even the best foods and ruin them for yourself. Try to change up your meals. Also, it helps to vary both your dining hill and where you sit within in. This will keep the whole experience from getting too repetitive.


Photo by Pixabay

4. Stay Updated.


Make sure to follow UVA Dining on Instagram! The account posts helpful updates and publicize interesting events happening at the dining halls. They advertise pop-up stations, special recipes, sustainable eating, chef expos, and other information. This way, you’ll always be in the know and can plan to attend upcoming events. 


Photo by Shravani Reddy

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