On the OCM Blog: Navigating the Campus Cafeteria

Last month I received an email from Katherine Carpenter of Our Campus Market, asking if I would like to be a guest contributor for their up and coming blog. For those of you who don’t know, Our Campus Market is an online retailer that provides college students with all of their back-to-campus dorm room/apartment necessities. Needless to say, I was thrilled and accepted immediately. I’m on the blog Tuesday August 11th and Tuesday August 25th, so check it out! Here’s a little excerpt from my first contribution:

While there’s rarely a shortage of food on campus, finding options that are both high quality and healthy is often challenging. In fact, most students find one of the most appealing aspects of off-campus housing to be the kitchen and full-sized fridge. Not to mention, how many times has someone mentioned the infamous Freshman Fifteen?

Campus dining halls are packed to the brim with unhealthy options such as pizza, hamburgers, french fries and more. On top of that there’s a strong societal expectation for college students to maintain their pre-college weight. However, navigating the college cafeteria is so much more than avoiding a number on a scale and ridiculous stigmas. It’s about making your meal plan work for you, and making choices that will gear you up for a long day of classes and an even longer night of studying. Here are a few tips (many learned the hard way) to help get you by:

Know what you like. Eating at the dining hall is certainly no five-star experience, so many times you’ll have the best luck sticking to meals you already know you like. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go out of your comfort zone and try something new but, if you don’t like it at home or at a tasty restaurant, odds are you won’t like the dining hall’s version much better.

Keep it simple. Some school cafes try to get creative with their food, attempting to recreate typically very fancy or international cuisines. While there is an off chance they could nail it, it’s usually a total bust. Simple meals are harder to mess up, and are usually a safe bet.

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