If you live on campus, you know that there are always opportunities to eat free food. Always. On our campus, when the Resident Advisors are feeling generous or when they want to get a group of students together, they order food from the dining hall and have a packout. It's basically like having an event catered, but you don't have to leave your building, and you can take as much food as you want without getting side-eyed.

The best way to get free food on campus (especially in the evenings) is to know when the RAs are having packouts. If you don't live on campus, you may have to make some strategic visits to your friends' buildings for food. Here are the packout foods that make me as excited as this baby opening a present.

5. Root beer floats

ice, coffee, milk, smoothie, cream
Alexa Gambero

Root beer floats are the perfect dessert/snack/late night pick me up. Also, they're a two-in-one food, so you can have ice cream and root beer together and then take some home and enjoy the leftovers whenever you want (as long as you have a freezer). 

4. Nachos

Alexa Gambero

In the past, dining hall nachos have been very unappealing. Somehow, our dining services have taken the catered nacho bar from a nightmare to a dream come true. Melty cheese makes everything better, after all.

3. Cookies

Ava Gambero

Imagine walking out of your room to find an entire tray full of cookies. It has happened to me, and I am so blessed. Our dining hall usually supplies packouts with oatmeal raisin, white chocolate chip macadamia nut, chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle, but sometimes they like to mix it up.

One of my only regrets as a college student is not eating enough of these cookies when I actually had a meal plan. 

2. Tater Tots

Alexa Gambero

I've finally reached a point in my life where I am not at all ashamed of my favorite foods, even if they are unhealthy and/or typically served on children's menus.

Tater tots are one of the superior potato creations, and our dining hall makes the best ones. They never taste frozen, and they are always crunchy. Plus, tots can be turned into a delicious breakfast casserole, so the fun and deliciousness never have to end.

1. Chicken Strips

Ava Gambero

Remember what I said about getting my favorite foods from children's menus? Chicken strips are the best example of that. There is truly no better surprise than coming home from a long day to find chicken strips (basically) right outside your door. Take it from me. My advice for chicken lovers out there: get to the packout early so you can fill your plate, because these go fast.