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Ways to Spice Up Campus Dining

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Classes are just around the corner for college students, which means freshmen are moving into dorms, joining clubs and exploring their new surroundings.

For many, going to college for the first time can be a challenging experience. Even the most prepared students can find themselves feeling lost in the crowd, searching for a way to connect to their new home.

A big part of feeling at home in a new place, even if it sounds a bit cheesy (no pun intended), is the food that can be found there. Nothing feels worse than eating stale food after a long day, so here are some tips on how to keep your campus dining experience fresh.

Bring Your Favorite Seasonings

Although college dining halls are a huge step up from high school cafeterias, they do share one similar characteristic: bland food. Cooking for thousands of picky eaters is a hard job, and even if campus dining provides a few sauces like Tabasco, it’s almost impossible for campus chefs to cater to every student’s taste buds. Word to the wise: bring your own spices, just in case you grab a basket of fries that desperately need some flavor.

Try New Meals

Eating the same food every day can get old fast, especially when you have limited means and time. It’s important to diversify your meals by trying new selections or heading to a different dining hall every now and then. Every dining hall will have its unique set of meals, and tasting each one is a great way to restore your palate. Eating a variety of foods will also make you much more likely to get all of the nutrients your body needs, keeping you healthy and ready for finals.

Mix and Match

Creativity is key, people. Sometimes your nearest dining hall won’t have all the options you like, which means you’ll have to get a bit inventive. Does your dorm hall serve chili? Grab a bag of Fritos from the vending machine to make your own version of Frito chili pie. Not sure how you feel about the meatloaf? Try adding mashed potatoes or beans to the mix – it might surprise you by how tasty it is. Basically, don’t be afraid to become your own chef when you need to. In college, no one will stop you from eating dessert before dinner or creating odd food combos. You’re the adult here, and if that gives you the freedom to eat pizza drenched in mayo, so be it.

Keep Food Fun

Amid a busy schedule, eating can become a chore. Ever find yourself rushing to class with a rumbling stomach, knowing you won’t have time to eat before a presentation? Then you know how much it sucks to need to eat but not have the time. A way to avoid feeling rushed is to prepare snacks beforehand. It’s important to take time to find food that you enjoy. But if you find yourself crunched for time, you can pick up a few small items at the school’s local convenience store. You’d be surprised how effective a banana or Clif Bar can be at battling hunger.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.