Dining Hall Hacks

Dining Hall Hacks

Helpful hacks to make the most of your dining experience.

Imagine it is your first day of finals. You wake up and get ready for the day, shower, do your hair, pick out a fun outfit, and do anything you can to make yourself confident for your impossible final. More likely, though, you roll out of bed and glance at your flashcards real quick before heading to class in your sweatpants and t-shirt you slept in. Regardless, you decide to swing by the dining hall for a quick breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day. You see the fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon, banana nut muffins, baked apples, and the fresh strawberries calling your name. The only problem is you ran out of swipes. Looks like you will fail the test on an empty stomach instead.

Here are some helpful dining hall hacks to be sure that you can stretch your swipes the whole semester!

Ditch the Doritos

Of course, they look awesome in the campus convenience store, but there are better snacking options. Many oatmeal, yogurt or salad bars tend to have granola or nuts. Next time you go grab some extra in a to-go container for a study snack with a little more sustenance.

Microwave mug muffins

Who would’ve thought that you could make a muffin in your microwave! Grab the banana on the way out of the dining hall and follow this recipe: http://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/peanut-butter-banana-mug-cake/ for an awesome breakfast! If you have access to an oven, go bigger and make a loaf of banana bread, trust me, it is sure to be a floor favorite.

You don’t need Nana for baked apples

While I am sure your Nana makes the best baked apples, you can too, all from the comfort of your own dorm. Cut up an apple from the dining hall into slices and put in a microwave safe bowl along with a pat of butter, spoonful of sugar and dash of cinnamon. Microwave for two minutes on high and you have yourself a wonderful warm snack!

Order less pizza on pizza night

You can make a pizza stretch between a few more people with this easy hack. Head to the dining hall and take salad to go. Fill up two containers with salad and one with toppings and you will have a nice salad to go with your pizza!

Salad bar veggies can have a second life

Those salad bar veggies don’t have to be thrown away if you don’t want them at the time. Instead, blanch them in hot water, you can use a Keurig or coffee maker, for 2-3 minutes, then freeze them. When you are ready, steam them in the microwave with a little bit of water in the bottom of a bowl and a lid with vents or paper towel on top for 4-6 minutes. Now you have veggies to go with dinner!

When you don’t “got milk”

Dry cereal is gross. With strategic thinking at the dining hall, you can be sure your cereal never goes dry again. Bring a travel coffee mug to the dining hall and fill it up with milk. Take it back to your room, refrigerate, and enjoy with your cereal the next morning, or Oreos, I won’t tell.

Sandwich Stretching

Don’t waste your awesome sandwich or wrap! Take the other half back with you and enjoy it for lunch the next day along with a piece of fruit or some of those delicious baked apples.

I hope these helpful tips keep your stomach full all semester. Make sure to continue to stay active as well and eat everything in moderation. A healthier you will translate better in class, with friends, and for your future! Happy dining hall hacking!

Cover Image Credit: college.usatoday.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

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If You Notice You Say 'Could've,' 'Should've,' or 'I Want To,' You Might Need To Change How You Live Your Life

Do you notice you say these phrases more than five times a day?


If that answer was a yes! Then you might "want to" read this!

Since being in college I have noticed and picked up on myself saying these phrases often over the course of my week. Generally, it usually the suspects of this thinking come from my social and academic life either in the past, present, and future.

In the past, I regret doing a lot of things in my life from not being involved enough in high school, not going out for activities and hobbies that I was interested in, not making enough money, and not using my time usefully. Academically I and everyone else wishes that they tried harder, take more AP and dual enrollment classes so time here at college could have been a little less stressful.

Currently, you might be angry about the way the previous semester went with your GPA, maybe you didn't do as well on your test because you decided to hang out with your friends, or you contemplate going to an SI session even though you know it would be good for you but you have other homework to work on.

Looking into the future you maybe were wishing to hang out with your friends, or you are obligated to go to something while another event was going on that you actually wanted to go to, or finally not getting invited to something and feeling really bad about yourself.

Yes, there is hope for these problems!

What has happened in the past has happened and you can not regret those decisions. You see perspective is the biggest thing in these situations it is the way you look at things that will determine how you feel about them. Now, that you know you can't change the past and only learn from the past, do their mistakes change your perspectives? However, there should be no excuses when it comes to the present and resurfacing those mistakes you made in the past that are coming up again.

(Sorry if that came off rude, but it's the truth.)

If you admittedly have made those mistakes in the past, don't bring them into your current life, leave them behind you. Finally, actively make a decision in the future that is maybe different and out of your comfort zone, or something you have always wanted to do. No more "what if's" or "I want to" by planning ahead of time you finally get to dictate and be happy :)

With a different perspective, everything can change!

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