As high school seniors explore colleges this fall, one thing they should remember to investigate is the university’s dining facilities. The college dining halls will be one of the biggest differences from life at home.
However, different does not always live up to its awful connotation. Dining halls are not exactly filled with retired chefs and grandmas who love you, and sometimes the food is not good. However, it is part of the college experience, and it is something you will be able to overlook.
Food allergies can be an issue in the dining halls. Essentially, you will not know what is possibly in whatever they may be making; so tell the workers your allergies because they will know. That is one of the most important aspects to remember about the dining halls.
Dining halls also offer many options for food. Dining halls will most likely have a fresh salad and fruit bar and a deli. Your dining hall should offer options for vegetarians. Also, dining halls will likely have hamburgesr, hot dogs, and chicken fingers for more options.
However, the main course of dining halls will expand your culinary knowledge. Most of the items will cease to exist on menus at normal restaurants, and at times they may even be difficult to pronounce. However, it’s a chance to try new food for no additional cost.
Think of your dining hall as a cheap buffet. With that many choices you’re bound to like something every night. Quantity is a big positive at the dining halls. There is virtually no limit to the amount of food you can eat.
Your college may have multiple dining halls with different menus every night, enhancing the options available. Some dining halls even specialize in vegetarian food, healthy food, fast food, fish, etc.
A lot of schools also offer options with meal plans. Some schools allow students to use meal plans in markets to buy groceries, others offer food you can pick up, others allow students to use the meals in affiliated restaurants, etc. Most schools offer different types of meal plans in terms of how many meals a week and extra options. You should research your school’s meal plans thoroughly before buying one.
Beverages are one of the dining halls’ strong points. They will have enough juices and sodas available everyday to make your dentist squeal, or keep them all employed during the recession. And you can even grab three or four sodas at once if you want to. Also, the salad and fruit bars are well maintained at dining halls.
Most dining halls offer breakfast, lunch and dinner and are open seven days a week. However, some are closed on weekends.
The best part about the dining hall is not doing dishes, unless you work there. You simply eat your food, and put your tray into the kitchen; then you can return to your studies or socializing. A regular trip to the dining hall takes anywhere from 20-60 minutes, depending on how crowded it is, and how much you want to eat.