Dining Hall food. Not the most appetizing food you can have in college. But hey, when you are required to have a meal plan as a freshman or when you are tired of eating Chick-fil-A or Chipotle for each meal and spending so much money, it's a good place to get quick food for somewhat cheap.

After two years of eating in a dining hall, I have a love-hate relationship with dining halls. By the time finals come around, everything tastes the same and I'm eating whatever they are serving. However, there are so many ways to transform your boring cheeseburger and fries, sandwiches, and tacos into something new.

Here are #hacks to transform your dining hall meals to fuel you through finals season.

1. Taco Salad

You love tacos, but when they serve the same meat cheese and tortilla combo each day, you can easily get tired of it. To mix things up as you study away for that Biology final, try making a taco salad! Get a plate of the lettuce of your choice, and top it with taco meat/chicken, rice, beans, cheddar cheese, and salsa! To add some crunch, break up tortilla chips and top off your taco salad and enjoy!

2. Cafe Mocha

The boring and black coffee that you drink every day is about to get a makeover. And face it, you're going to need all the coffee and chocolate you can get for studying. Take a cup of coffee, add a bit of milk to it, and head to the dessert station in your dining hall. Add some chocolate syrup from the ice cream sundae area and mix it into your coffee to make your own mocha without the cost of Starbucks.

3. Pizza Bagel

You love bagels. You love pizza. Why not combine them? For an easy study snack, take a bagel from the deli area and add tomato sauce from the pasta station and some cheese from the salad bar. Pop that bagel into the microwave and enjoy your own personal pizza!

4. Breakfast Sandwich

Your breakfast every morning shouldn't be coffee. Instead, power through finals with a breakfast sandwich. Take either a bagel or a waffle, cut it in half, and stuff some eggs and bacon into your two halves. Have your own breakfast, your way!

5. Chicken and Waffles

In my opinion, there is not a better duo than chicken and waffles. Power through your late night by pouring some waffle batter into the waffle iron and grab some chicken strips or nuggets from the grill section. Pop them on top of the waffle and pour some syrup on that bad boy for a sweet and savory reward for reading that textbook.

6. Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich with Nutella

Get ready for a sugar overload. Use the sugar rush of this easy hack to serve as a reward for finishing studying! Drizzle some Nutella on two cookies and stuff the flavor of ice cream of your choice between them to make an ice cream sandwich.

7. Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

You know the drill by now. Take two tortillas from the Tex-Mex line, grab some Cheddar cheese and chicken and put it together in the microwave to melt the cheese, creating an ooey-gooey finals snack. To spice it up, add salsa or Buffalo sauce!

8. Tex-Mex Burger

Add guacamole and pico de gallo to your average cheeseburger to mix it up! It's so easy to add more flavor to your burger with a few extra ingredients!

9. DIY Fried Rice

Fried rice is so easy to make, and so tasty to eat. It's a way to change up your everyday stir fry rice for studying. Take peas, tomatoes, and scrambled eggs and add it to some rice with soy sauce.

10. Buffalo Mac n' Cheese

Mac and cheese is a college staple. Lunch? Mac and cheese. Dinner? Mac and cheese. Snack in the middle of the night? Mac and cheese. To add more flavor, get some diced chicken and drizzle in some buffalo sauce for an added kick.

We love food, and food is a necessity more than ever during finals season. You may be tired of the same old food, but it is so easy to change things up and add more flavor to an average meal.


Happy finals season and good luck!