If you ever attended a public school, there is a very big chance you encountered some bad cafeteria food, ya know, the food that makes you question what is this even? Well, at most colleges, there is at least one option that is that food every time you go to the cafeteria.
Keep in mind that the cafeteria is not the only place to eat on a college campus because there are often other, smaller places that you can use your meals at.
- Picking your poison
In the cafeteria, there are often lines you can pick to go through. There will be times when you get into a line because the menu for it sounds like it has a lot of potential, only to find out that it is a classic example of that food that I described earlier. By the time you notice this, you are often at the front of the line and feel bad for leaving. If
you can just tell the people serving that you changed your mind, good for you, but I have some trouble with this so I normally end up panic picking the food that looks safest.
You then just walk to your table, put your plate down, try it, and if you don’t like it, go back to try again. There are instances where you will be pretty surprised to find that it tastes really good, even though it looks unappealing.
- Limited healthy options
At most colleges, there is a salad bar with plenty of greens and salad toppings, but unless you are okay with eating a salad every day, you will need to venture to other options. It’s a pretty safe bet that your college has a display of some sort of fresh fruits.
Although there may not be much variety, this is always a safe bet and a way to get some good nutrients is.
While venturing out to other options, keep in mind that the healthy options may not always look the most appealing. At my college, they sometimes try to do something creative to the grilled chicken or cooked vegetables ect. and sometimes they don’t turn out looking too great. This leads to some trial and error, but usually you will be able to just scrape off that awkward sauce on your chicken or eat around the stuff in the vegetables.
Seating availability varies with size of college and time of day, but the safest way to guarantee an easy-to-locate spot is to go to meals either before or after the rush.
Also be aware of event going on at your school because there will be days when the cafeteria is just full because of the abundance of teenagers touring the school or the groups participating in quiz bowl in the student center get a free meal and they’re in there. These are days where I personally do not deal with the large crowd and go to one of the other options for food on campus.
- Eating alone
No one wants to experience this the first time, but there will come a day when your friends are busy, or your schedules conflict, and you just have to man up and do it. The first time you may feel like everyone is staring at you, thinking you must not have any friends, and you may feel awkward. The reality is though, eating alone isn’t so bad and you see people doing it all the time. It isn’t something you need to be embarrassed by and it is important to remember that.
Side note: even if your food is bad, don’t take it out on those serving, it is their job. They probably do not have a choice in what they serve and if they did, they’d probably be serving great food all the time.
Food in the cafeteria can also get boring. If you want some tips on adding some different aspects to your meals, go check out Nine College Food Hacks! Warning: these options are not the healthiest, but they sure do sound tasty if you are looking for a treat!