I learned a lot in my first semester of college. I made lots of awesome friends and took some really cool classes. On top of all that, I managed to feed myself rather successfully for four months, consecutively. 

College is great. I’m so thankful for all of the experiences and memories. However, as with all good things, there is always something to improve. I want to share some advice on first semester of freshman year—things I did that were good, and definitely some things that I wish I had done differently. Here are the five things I learned about feeding myself from my first semester of college.

1. Breakfast is Important

Arielle Gordon

Although your day probably doesn't start at the crack of dawn anymore, mornings are still early and it can be a while before you get to lunch. Honestly, the day is just much easier if I get some protein and carbs in me before I have to think. The extra 2-5 minutes required to make breakfast are well worth it. Now that we are fully into winter, I always take a warm drink, such as tea or hot cocoa, to get me through class.

2. Meals and Grocery Shopping are More Fun with Friends 

interiors, Interior, Friends, people, cafe, coffee, Shanghai, China, decor
Denise Uy

Even if it might be more efficient to eat alone in the library, that is not fun. When your friends make plans for the dining hall, take the study break and go. A good conversation or a funny story from my friends makes the time I spend studying bearable. You need exercise and good brain food to be successful! 

Side note: seeing your friends as much as possible keeps you in the loop with the group, and at the beginning of college, that is always important. 

Additionally, if you must venture into the real world for food, grocery shopping with friends is way more fun than doing it alone. I personally never know where everything in the store is and my friends are always there to help. Also, everyone else can help you decide how many bags of popcorn is too many, or gently remind you to buy a vegetable. 

3. Pizza and Salad Each Have a Time and Place

Julia Gilman

Don't worry about what you eat. I mean, people say that you should be eating a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, but sometimes that’s not always possible. Take advantage of the dining hall buffets, and make use of having someone else cook all of your food. 

You are walking more than you probably ever have before, and you’re still young. Take the free pizza, and have an ice cream and movie night at the end of the first week of classes. You deserve it.

4. Schedules Change

Laura Santi

College life is different than anywhere else. You wake up late and go to bed late. You have to adjust to a totally different eating schedule. I never thought that I would actually want to eat dinner at 5:30, but sometimes, that is just how the day goes. Also, my favorite Friday night activity has become second dinner. My friends and I eat a light dinner around 6 and then go for tacos or mac and cheese around 9. What could be better?

5. Embrace Those Microwave Hacks

french onion soup
Emma Weir

Love your microwave! Having a microwave in my room has been the best thing ever. In addition to making ramen and defrosting mac and cheese from the C-store, there are so many great microwave recipes out there. I am a fan of all of the oatmeal variations but mug cakes or scrambled eggs make great, healthy meals in a pinch.

There are so many great things about the first semester of college, so food and eating should become highlights and help create fun memories, not be a stressful part of adulting. Go out and enjoy!