I started my first year of college this last September, and although I didn’t move very far away, it was still a move. There were a ton of new experiences including eating at the dining commons, biking several miles a day, and living with a complete stranger in a very, very small space.

It was scary at first: no parents close by, no one telling me what to do or how to eat, nothing. College is supposed to be where you find yourself. Little did I know that I would find out more about my eating habits than I would about my personality and interests.

1. I’m gluten-intolerant

Eating Habits

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This is the biggest discovery that I made about my eating habits and diet. It was quite the process getting used to the fact that my throat closes up slightly and my stomach occasionally hurts when I eat food with wheat. I tried going gluten-free. I lasted about 24 hours.

Since then, I’ve been doing my best to figure out which foods give me the worse reactions. I would like to officially say that gluten sucks. How can a food taste so good, but be so mean to you at the same time? I just can’t imagine going completely and permanently gluten-free, but that may have to happen soon.

2. Frozen fruit is my best friend

Eating Habits

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This is probably the best of my eating habits that I’ve acquired. Frozen fruit is quite possibly the most amazing thing in the world. I first discovered this when my aunt left me some frozen bananas when she was over for the holidays. I added Nutella (as you should with everything, of course), and I was in heaven.

Then my refrigerator did its job a little too well and froze my strawberries. They were super frozen, but super delicious. The crunch of the fruit, the cold bite that makes your mouth feel like the Arctic, and the sweet aftertaste as it thaws in your mouth is absolute perfection.

Plans to freeze the grapes in my fridge will soon be underway. I may have to expand my range and freeze anything I can get my hands on.

3. I prefer the breakfast of an 80-year-old

Eating Habits

Photo by Becky Hughes

My tiny dorm room doesn’t really accommodate a full kitchen. Seeing as I’m a college student and a mini fridge and a microwave are all that I have close at hand, my breakfasts have to be quick and dorm-friendly. Enter the microwave oatmeal and the yogurt cup.

I’ve started to feel a little like an elderly person eating this breakfast each morning (I even had the same thing for dinner last week). I suppose I need to spice up my oatmeal or something, but even though I eat things a toothless person could eat, I’m oddly content slurping my breakfast every morning.

4. I’m now obsessed with counting calories

Eating Habits

Photo by Luna Zhang

It seemed like a good idea at first to start counting calories. Since the Freshman 15 is totally real, I gained a bit of weight as I finished my fall quarter at Davis. I came back for winter quarter desperately wanting to lose the weight I had gained, so I began to count calories.

Soon, I became obsessed with the calories in the food I was eating. I got to the point where I would deny myself the necessary nutrients just to stay under my calorie quota. It’s a problem that I’m still trying to overcome.

5. It’s impossible for me to eat a balanced meal

Eating Habits

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This lack of balance comes with the calorie counting problem. If I have some Goldfish, I can’t eat lunch. If I eat a sandwich for lunch, I would only have a spoonful of peanut butter for dinner.

At home, I used to eat balanced meals that consisted of protein, fruit or green veggies, calcium, and a bunch of other vitamins and nutrients. I have to rewire my brain to start eating more balanced meals here in college.

However, I believe that part of the problem is that I live in the dorms. Hopefully once I get into an apartment next year, I’ll have better access to more food choices so that I can be a healthier person.

6. I eat in order to procrastinate

Eating Habits

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I’m thinking of eating right now before finishing this article. I find that eating is the best way to put off writing an essay or doing an easy assignment.

With eating comes Netflix, and with Netflix comes five hours of your life down the drain. It’s a vicious cycle, and if procrastination was an Olympic sport, I’d take home the gold. It’s a miracle I still manage to get my schoolwork done, but I throw away my health in the meantime.

7. I really need my mom and dad in order to stay alive

Eating Habits

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Long story short, I’m pretty helpless without my parents. Many of the good eating habits they taught me were thrown out the window when I started college. My dad even reprimanded me about eating more fruit just a few weeks into my first quarter at Davis.

College is difficult, and not just academically. It’s hard to balance work and health. I’m sure it’ll be easier to break these bad habits once I’m out of the dorms, have a job, and can buy my own groceries. Regaining my health is something I very much look forward to, even though I do love that gluten-filled pasta so much.