We knew adjusting to college food would be hard, but it was more of a shock than most anticipated. There are options abound — on any given day you can have pizza, soft serve, a salad (lol), or pasta. You can have it at any time. But the third and most tragic adjustment is that it sometimes can be disappointing. So who better to explain the morose truths about campus dining than Ron Swanson himself, the ultimate food champion?


Stage One: The First Night You Arrive


You walk into the dining hall and see lines of hot food, piling your plate high with mac and cheese and lasagna, only to finish your meal with an empty and confused feeling. We know, it’s not as good as Mom’s. It’s ok. We know. They know.

Stage Two: Meatless Mondays


Yeah, I know, you went vegetarian for a few months once, but for some reason your dining hall isn’t considering pasta and pizza a “Meatless Monday” staple. Weird.

Stage Three: The Dining Hall Workers Realize Your Eating Habits


Yes, I very much realize that I am taking two mains, not a main and a side. Yes, I realize I was here an hour ago. Let’s take a moment to honor the guy I once saw with three pieces of pizza piled on his plate and lasagna on the side.

Stage Four: Freedom


Remember, what your parents don’t know about your diet won’t kill them. Ice cream is brain food, just make sure to maybe not eat it for three meals a day.

Stage Five: Sunday “Mornings” — When They’re Serving Breakfast at 1 pm


“Breakfast” is defined in the dictionary as “a meal eaten at the first of the day.” This definition does not say when exactly the first of the day is, but the first of most students Sundays begin anywhere from 11 am to 4 pm.

Stage Six: Going Home For Thanksgiving


“I can eat as much as I want, for free, and the kitchen never closes? And it’s on my plate warm?”

Stage Seven: Realizing Midyear How Much You Have Left on Your Meal Plan


The fact that college meal plans account for all of their students being varsity athletes or UFC fighters leads to a lot of students checking their receipt and being in absolute awe at some point in the semester. No more worrying about midnight snacking costs.