Dining halls are great. They take care of all of your food needs so you never have to think about what’s for dinner. You can use that extra time to, you know…study (or go out). But as awesome as dining halls are, there are going to be days that you won't want to leave your bed. Or even worse, it’s 3 am and you’re hungry, but the dining hall closed three hours ago. This is when dorm room snacks become important. 

Even without a kitchen, eating in is totally possible. You are going to be a microwave mug cake pro and a mini fridge spacial optimization engineer in no time! Here are the 17 dorm room snacks that you definitely need to have on hand.

1. Apples

peach, juice, pear, pasture, apple
Ashley Dyrhaug

Apples are a staple because they are convenient, healthy, and refreshing when you come back from a long day of classes. They also make for a great grab and go fruit if you’re running so late that the dining hall isn’t an option.

2. Nuts

hazelnut, almond, apricot pits, vegetable, meat, pistachio, nut
Lucy Bedewi

Packed with protein, nuts are easy and filling. Grabbing a handful will help you stay full and focused during a five-hour cram session at your desk. My personal favorite is cashews, but you could always go for some almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or peanuts to subdue that hunger.

3. Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans

decaffeinated coffee, relish, cereal, mocha, cappuccino, espresso, coffee

Even if you have a state of the art Keurig in your room, these will come in so handy. Each coffee bean has about 4 mg of caffeine. Considering the average coffee cup has 90 mg, it might sound like nothing, but they make a great pick me up when you’re running in between classes.

4. Popcorn

rice, popcorn, corn, wheat, cereal
Sara Carte

As someone who eats when I'm bored, I’m always looking for low-calorie foods that I can mindlessly munch on. Popcorn is just that. It’s an easy snack that won’t make you feel heavy or gross after polishing off the entire bag in one sitting. My two personal favorites are Boom Chicka Pop and Skinny Pop.

5. Cereal and Milk

oatmeal, rice, chocolate, sweet
Ashley Dyrhaug

I always kept milk in my mini fridge, because cereal is a completely acceptable meal tome. This timeless combo was what I always went for when it was rainy and I didn’t feel like walking to the dining hall. I personally am a Raisin Bran fan, but my roommate always kept at least three family sized boxes of Lucky Charms in the room at all times.

6. Protein Bars

milk, chocolate, candy, peanut butter
Elena Bailoni

These things actually saved me last year. They make for a great “throw in the backpack” snack when you know you won’t have time to sit for a meal throughout the day. They also keep you satisfied until you can have another meal so you won’t get hangry in your afternoon classes. My favorite protein bars are Rx bars and Vega Bars (for all my animal lovers).

7. Hummus and Carrots

vegetable, hummus, bread
Christin Urso

I’m biased because I’m Lebanese, but seriously hummus is such a good snack. It’s healthy and delicious, plus it can be easily stored in a mini fridge. I personally like Sabra hummus, but there are tons of brands and flavors to experiment with.

8. A Pint of Ice Cream

cappuccino, candy, sweet, coffee, cream, chocolate, milk
Rica Beltran

You know you need one. It’s going to be after a long week when you’re cuddled up in bed watching a movie. Adding ice cream to this is the necessary ingredient missing from your night. Get your favorite flavor and treat yo self. You deserve it!

9. Peanut Butter

cake, chocolate
Lucy Bedewi

My roommate and I put peanut butter on everything. It adds a protein kick to apples, bananas, bread, bagels, and celery sticks. My favorite thing to do last year was slice up an apple then mix peanut butter and honey to dip it in. I highly recommend!

10. Annie’s Instant Mac and Cheese

Lucy Bedewi

The cheesy goodness after two minutes in the microwave is indescribable after a late night out. Plus, they are so easy to make that you can do it when you’re exhausted, hungover, or drunk. They are the perfect things to satisfy your mac and cheese cravings.

11. Instant Oatmeal Cups

Lucy Bedewi

There are going to be days in the winter when it will be so cold that the thought of walking to the dining hall for breakfast makes you laugh. This is where instant oatmeal bowls come in handy. I personally always use Quaker because they're delicious and come in a wide array of flavors, but tons of brands are catching on to the easy oatmeal trend.

12. Ramen

spaghetti, macaroni, pasta
Caroline Liu

Are you really a college student if you don’t have ramen in your dorm? To make your dining experience even better, make sure you know these 15 ramen hacks before you make your next bowl.

13. Yogurt Cups

Micaela Petrucci

They are quick, easy and nutritious. Greek yogurt has an epic amount of protein to keep you full and many brands are making a push to limit sugar. Oikos Triple Zero has 15g of protein per cup, but only 6g of sugar. If you are more of a yogurt purist, you could always get plain or vanilla yogurt and add your favorite fruit and granola.

14. Cheese and Crackers

display, crackers, cracker, cheese, fruits, Fruit, platter
Amber Holte

If you put some Ritz crackers and a wheel of Brie in front of me, I will be the happiest girl alive. But really, cheese and crackers are a timeless feel good snack. There are so many cheeses and so many crackers just waiting to be combined.

15. Raisins

Lucy Bedewi

I personally think raisins get a bad rep as being boring snacks. I think they’re great because they give you that subtle sweetness that we all crave without being considered junk food. Plus, if you have never tried the plump golden raisins, those are definitely a must.

16. Baked Fruit Chips

Lucy Bedewi

They're like regular chips, but healthier. The texture takes some getting used to, but baked fruits were my favorite last year in the dorm room. They last forever and are an easy thing to grab and leave by your desk.

17. Chocolate

milk, milk chocolate, sweet, candy, coffee, chocolate
Christin Urso

Keeping chocolate in the dorm room is both a blessing and curse. For me, it was a curse because I have no self-control, but for you it may be nice to reward yourself after three hours of studying with some of your favorite types of chocolate.

Obviously there are probably some dorm room snacks that you can’t live without that are not on this list. If you need to have bagged rice or beef jerky to function, do it!  Sometimes college can be hard and dining hall food can feel so repetitive. Luckily for you, dorms are conducive to some of the best snacks that you can always keep on hand.