Taking on the Dorms

9 Jul

Reader Request time!


I was unsure of what to expect when I first moved away from home and into a dorm to start college and live with someone I had never even met. It can be intimidating and scary to think of! Being the foodie that I am, I was also wondering about how the dining hall food would be, and how the heck I was going to haul all of my goodies with me and fit them in my room. (haha) With a new semester on the brink, I know many will be starting the same adventure I started a year ago and having survived it myself, I have a few words of advice.

Allow Time To Adjust

It felt very surreal when I first moved into the dorms…like I was living someone else’s life! It’s completely normal to feel out of whack for a while. Don’t stress too much about it and just try to view it as a new and fun adventure. Take advantage of the opportunities around you and make friends with people!

Take Advantage of the Dining Hall Cafeteria

My cafeteria had a lot of really great options. Everything from mexican, chinese, seafood, burgers, fully stocked salad bar, vegetarian options, ice cream machine, etc. I was worried that there would not be very many options that I would like, but it was completely the opposite. Most colleges do a pretty decent job on providing a solid variety of foods to meet the needs of every student. When I knew they were serving something that I really liked, I would sometimes take a to-go box and get another meal to put up in my dorm fridge for the next day. It was nice to have something ready to eat at any time the next day.

Invest in a Good-Size Dorm Fridge

Some mini fridges are really tiny and won’t fit much more than some pop cans. I got the largest mini fridge available and it was definitely worth the bit of extra money. It had a top freezer portion too which was so helpful. Β I actually had room to fit food in, unlike many of my friend’s fridges. Although I did eat at the dining hall quite frequently, I also made mini grocery shopping trips to have my own food as well. Having a fridge was a must for me.

Keep Easy Eats on Hand

Things I would commonly buy to put in my dorm room cabinet: cereal, oatmeal, crackers, nuts, individual cups of instant brown rice, protein powder, fresh fruit (from dining hall), protein bars/fruit and nut bars, packets of tuna/salmon.

Things I would commonly buy to put in my fridge: cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese sticks, deli turkey, almond milk.

if your fridge has a freezer: salmon burgers, veggie burgers, Kashi microwave meals, frozen veggies (to steam).

This stuff helped fill in the gaps when I didn’t have time to go to the dining hall, Β or it was closed, or I just wasn’t feeling their food, etc.

Relax and Enjoy the Experience

Dorm room living can be a lot of fun if you choose to look at it in a positive light. There are some times where it may not be the best situation, but it’s important to remember that it’s only temporary. It gives you a chance to meet new people, make friends, and adjust without being alone. Make the most of it, focus on the good, and don’t sweat the other stuff!

If I had to sum up my advice in one single sentence, it would be this:


Looking back, I spent a little too much time worrying and stressing, when I wish I would have just done this ^^^ instead. Make the most of the experience, be brave, and LIVE. You’ll only get to do this once in your life!



16 Responses to “Taking on the Dorms”

  1. Carly July 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I’m going to be a freshman this fall and was actually just thinking about what I was going to do as far as cooking/eating goes because I love to eat and cook haha

  2. Alexandra July 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    This is so great girl! You really hit the nail on the head with “have fun.” Sometimes it can be just as simple as that! πŸ˜€

  3. Sable Weisman (@SquatLikeALady) July 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Unless some crazy shiz happens, I will never live in a dorm. (Max & I are independent students, plus we’re married, so we live off-campus.) HOWEVER… I think your advice applies to any group dining experience: dinners out with family, potlucks, etc. =)

  4. Kailey July 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more with get the biggest mini fridge possible – made a HUGE difference in the past two years πŸ™‚ While I adored living on-campus/in a dorm – i can’t wait for apartment living this coming year!

  5. Health Freak College Girl July 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Living in my dorm last year was….an experience haha. I had 3 other roommates. I got along okay with 1, horrible with another, and the other one moved out haha. So let’s just say, I was more than happy to out!

  6. Meg July 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    we would be perfect roomies πŸ˜€

  7. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! July 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    I LOVED THIS! You don’t know how much better this made me feel about going to college in a few weeks! I am really excited but also getting pretty nervous so this post is like EXACTLY what I needed! Thanks girl! And PLEASE share any other tips about getting through freshman year if you have them!!!

    • Sweetly Fit July 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      I’m so glad it helped you Kaila. You are going to do great!!!

  8. Angie @ The Fitness Apple July 10, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    Hey Kristi! How old are you?! What college are you attending? if your a freshman i wish you well on your school work this year! πŸ™‚
    Ps Love the blog keep it up, seriously, i hope you love mine as much as i love yours… I read yours alll the time! πŸ™‚ hope you come visit me soon!

  9. teabagginit July 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    i completely agree! don’t let the effort for perfection to get in the way of life! such a great message!!!

  10. plateitnclimb July 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    This hit the college dorm room eating worry right on the nail! i had the same worries going into my freshman year, and just like you worried way too much and gave up on a lot of fun until a couple great friends showed me what life was about!

  11. Beth Howard July 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    A true testament and very well spoken and written. Proud of you sweetie! Love you, Mom

  12. Lisa July 11, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    Great post! Although I’m not in college right now, I completely agree with everything you stated. Have fun is such a key aspect! I had the most fun EVER the first year of college and I will never forget it. So many laughs and new friends, even if it wasn’t my healthiest year my mentality had never been better. We didn’t have a dining hall at my college though, I don’t know if that’s just a Canada thing or not haha. None of the colleges/universities I went to had one. Kind of weird…

  13. Kirstie @ Musings of a Happy Life July 11, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Awesome tips!! So much of what you’ve said is so true. I’m not at Uni anymore but I agree that having fun is so important. Keeps you sane!

  14. KatsHealthCorner July 22, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    Thank you SO much for this post and for sharing all of your tips! I’ll be heading up to college in January and I’ve been having some worries about it, but this post helped me SO much! THANK YOU! πŸ˜€

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