Growing up, I was one of those girls who came to school with a lunch from home every day. I would never go near the cafeteria lines—the food options were only filled with empty calories. But, when I arrived at college, I had to face the realization that my eating patterns were going to change, significantly. That's why I needed to master eating healthily at the DUC.

Of course, as soon as you walk in, the first options are no other than the "comfort" foods aka your pizza and fries, whose aroma will welcome you automatically. But, after a few visits to the DUC, I found a couple ways to avoid falling into the unhealthy trap.

tea, coffee, beer, wine
Suzie Waltzer

1. The Deli Section

Your first option is to make a beeline to the deli section. (For those of you from the New York area, you are in for a rude awakening—the line moves very slowly, so mentally prepare yourself.) Here, you can make a nice, healthy sandwich or wrap (both whole wheat) filled with the meat, cheese, and veggies of your choice.

2/3. The Grill and Salad Bar Combo

Suzie Waltzer

Just a warning: there will probably be a line as well. Here, start off with a piece of grilled chicken and then head over to the salad bar. Choose from romaine lettuce or mixed greens, and add the veggies of your choice. I also recommend adding chickpeas to your salad—they're delicious and give you some extra protein to feel full.

4. Vegan

Here, there is often quinoa or couscous, which are good, healthy carbs. They give you energy that is especially needed for long study days. Also, I like to get the steamed veggies because it is different than your usual options at the salad bar.

5. Always grab fruit

lime, juice, apple, olive
Sam Tanchel

When you first walk in, there is a bowl that may be overlooked with various fruits, depending on the day—so definitely grab one for now and a few to save for later.

Eating healthily in a cafeteria with endless options can be tough and tempting, I know. But with these few tips, you'll master it in no time. Although you may want to splurge once in a while (okay, maybe most times), just remember: it's not the end of the world if you grab those pizza and fries every now and again.