College freshmen, welcome to the beginning of the rest of your life.

You will hear that phrase many times throughout the early days of your college education. You're in a new environment. You're surrounded by new people. And you're independent, aka your mom can't cook your every meal or choose the restaurants you eat at.

No matter how many wild Snapchat stories and perfectly staged Instagrams your home friends are posting, the transition to college is at least slightly difficult for everyone. 

For all of first semester, you are trying to find your place at school, and your eating habits simultaneously shift as you experience the ups and downs of the beginning of freshman year.

1. The Beginning of the Beginning

New place, new people, new FOOD. Never have you lived in a place that you could order cookies until 3 am and have them delivered to your door (thanks, Insomnia.) Of course, you have to figure out which of the five pizza places right on campus has the best late night slice so you try them all, multiple times.

The dining hall is rows and rows of food, and not to mention an all-you-can-eat buffet. You're excited to be here and want to experience all college has to offer.

2. Settling

About three weeks after living off of greasy and sugary foods that your parents kept from the cabinets at home, you settle in. Then it hits you; college is actually real life. While it seems like a fantasy land where you are not really held accountable for your actions, this is not the case.

You realize you can't live off of a meal rotation of pizza, cookies, and Chinese food, unfortunately. You decide to try to watch what you eat and try to workout a lot to avoid the dreaded Freshman 15. Suddenly, you have a new motto when you go to eat: WWMD? (What would mom do?)

3. Midterms

As midterm week approaches, your health kick efforts become as irrelevant as your number of hours of sleep. This is a stressful time and it can be hard to avoid stress eating. Plus, by this time you know all your favorite food spots on campus and have your go-to comfort foods.

So, with the pressure of exams, it seems you deserve pad Thai from your favorite restaurant ordered in every night. Feelings suck and so do finals, but at least food doesn't!

4. Return From Thanksgiving Break

After completing your midterms, you get to go home and finally have your mom's cooking again. She makes your favorite meals. You go to your favorite restaurants. You excitedly go to the grocery store and choose whatever you want that your shop near campus doesn't have.

When you return to school, you realize the chicken at the dining hall is suspiciously rubbery compared to the chicken from your local grocery store at home. The fruit at school tastes strangely more sugary and a lot less fresh than what you had in your home fridge during break. Why is the rice at college crunchy? Why do the vegetables taste so salty?

That's when you know the food in your school cafeteria is borderline inedible compared to what you grew up with. Being home and then coming back to school makes you nostalgic. You long for the times (and food) you had back at home.

5. The Final Weeks

Nevertheless, you love being at school so much and are sad to leave for a month when finals roll around. By the end of the semester, the "something new" notion that defined college three or four months ago is now where you belong. Especially since you now hate the dining hall, you want to share great food with your best school friends and end up eating very sentimentally at places that meant things to you earlier in the year.

The sushi place where you and your friend went on a double date to? The breakfast place you always went to the morning after a fun night out? You return to these places before the semester ends and reminisce. 

One of eight semesters is done and you still have seven more amazing ones left. Maybe the rest of your life is actually something to be excited for.