Monday, September 12, 2011

Cafeteria Food, Dorms, and Church in College

This is day two of the College Q&A.  Tomorrow I'll be posting about college in general (how I chose it, what it's like, etc.), so if you have any more questions about that, you can ask them up until the end of tonight. 

Today's topics are about dorm life, friendships, and organizations.

food 1_2.jpgWhat is the food like?
As you're about to see, I got a lot of questions about food. 
College food isn't actually so bad.  I live in an off campus dorm, however, so I'm not sure how on-campus food is.  We have our own cafeteria.  There is a grill, where you can ask to have multiple foods made for you, like chicken quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, Philly cheese steaks, hamburgers, and more.  There is a homecooked food bar, which usually has veggies, rolls, tilapia or chicken, and other main courses.  There is a sandwich bar and a salad bar.  There is an oriental bar which has pizza, Asian food, or a smoothie bar where you can pick out your favorite fruits and they'll blend them into a smoothie.  There is an ice cream bar with real ice cream, not the soft serve stuff, and a multitude of toppings.  There is even a dessert bar, filled with cakes and pies.  There are two slushie makers, about twenty different fountain drinks to choose from, different types of vitamin water (like watermelon, kiwi, strawberry, etc.), and the occasional chocolate fountain.  Crazy, right?  It's going to be tough to not gain those freshman fifteen!

I tend to take pictures of my meals with my phone and send them to my mom because she likes to know if I'm getting proper nutrition. ;)  I'll share a couple of those pictures throughout today's post. 

What kind of stuff are you eating?
I'm very picky.  I usually eat a salad along with a quesadilla or a grilled cheese sandwich (with a little plate of deli turkey on the side for protein) or a homecooked meal.  I'll occasionally bring a Lunchable along with me to school and eat that.  I have some canned soups and things in my suite, so if I don't feel like getting out, I'll have that for dinner instead.  My parents pay for a few groceries, so I have some fruit in the fridge and some cereal and snacks in my own little cabinet, which is nice.

food 3_2.jpgWhere do you prepare your food?
I don't prepare most of my food.  The cafeteria will prepare it for me.  I have a meal plan where I have fourteen meals a week paid for in the cafeteria.  (I usually eat breakfast in my own room.)  I'm not sure if this is how it is in all cafeterias, but I think they have this in several: they will even bag a lunch for me if I have to go off campus during lunch time. 

Occasionally if I don't feel like going to the cafeteria, I'll prepare a sandwich or soup in my suite.  We have some cabinets, a little countertop, a microwave, and a fridge that all came with the suite.  I don't know if your dorm will come with these things, but it would definitely be a worthwhile buy to get a fridge and a microwave if not.  I've used them both quite a bit.  One thing I wish my suite has would be a sink in the little mini-kitchen area.  It feels a little strange to have to go to the restroom down the hall to rinse out my dishes or add water to my soup.

Are you enjoying the food?
Mostly, yes.  Since I'm very picky (and a creature of habit), I've begun to feel a little tired of getting the same old things in the cafeteria every day, but I have to remind myself that I'm very blessed to have as high quality of a cafeteria as I do have.  Perhaps I need to start branching out and try different kinds of food.

For those of you who will be going to college in a year or two, just expect that you'll get tired of the cafeteria food, high quality or not.  It will never be as good as the food back home, but it will be enough.

What was moving in like? Like was it really crowded and stuff?
Moving in was prettttty crazy.  There was a specific move-in day, so everryyybody was carrying in furniture and suitcases and flat screen TVs and clothes and bedding...  We had to wait in a long line to sign in and prove that I was living in the dorm.  We paid for an early bird cafeteria special since the cafeteria's meal plan didn't "officially" start until a week later.  I was given a sticker to put in my car that allows it into my dorm's parking lot.  They also gave me three keys: a mail box key, a key to my room, and a key to my suite.  I also was given a card to swipe over a sensor so I could into the building through back doors and another card that I wave under a sensor to get my meals.  They gave me a t-shirt, I met a few people, and then my parents and grandma began to help me move into my room.
At first, I was a little overwhelmed by how small my room was.  I felt like I would hardly be able to move around at all.  We started moving furniture and it was amazing how much the little room opened up.  We placed my bed against the far wall next to the window and my desk against another wall.  We placed my cabinet underneath my bed instead of against another wall as well.  Now I have an open room, which is nice.

We'd packed all of my belongings into a lot of boxes and bags, so it was quite a hassle to pull everything out and put them in all the right places, but I suppose that's just a part of moving in.  We kept my clothes all on their hangers, so it was nice to be able to just place them right into the closet.  We made my bed last of all because we soon realized that I would want an egg crate of some sort to make it more comfortable and had to run to the store and get one.  (Dorm room mattresses are pretty basic and uncomfortable.)

I got to meet my suite mates for the first time.  I live in a suite with three other girls.  We all share a living room and "kitchen" area and I share a bathroom with one of the girls, but we all have our own private rooms.  It's a pretty neat living arrangement.  I've liked it so far.  My suite mates are all very nice and helpful.

Are you having trouble finding a church home?
So far, yes.  It's tough to change churches when you like your church back at home just fine.  Comparing your home church to every single church you visit is pretty much inevitable, but it can be harmful when you're trying to make a decision.  This isn't one of my best qualities, but I tend to be mistrustful of churches.  Because of some experiences I've had, I'm often afraid that I'm going to be hurt by the church and it's hard for me to relax and feel "at home."  It's been very difficult for me to fall in love with a church here so far.  That's a big prayer request for me right now.  I'm ready to get plugged in somewhere, but I'm not quite sure yet where I'd like to get plugged in.

Have you made any good friends in college yet?
I feel awkward answering this because I'm worried that some people I've met here might read my blog and be offended!  But to be honest, I haven't made close friends yet.  This is normal though, I think, since I've only been here for three weeks on my own.  Not that long to make close friends.  I've made some really nice friends, but we just aren't in the "oh my gosh best friends forever!" relationships like I keep seeing people around me somehow make.

I've started hanging out with a great group of guys at my dorm.  They're so nice to me and I hope they enjoy being friends with me as much as I enjoy being friends with them, even though I'm a girl!  It's been nice to spend some time with them recently.  I also am growing closer to a girl I met at Impact camp named Stephanie.  She is very sweet and has a heart for Christ that is so evident.  I really hope that we will grow closer and closer with each passing week.  I still have a few casual friends from Impact, but I wouldn't call us "good" friends.  I also have a couple of sweet friends who were already attending A&M before me.

And of course, Rebecca (one of my best friends from home) goes to the same university as me.  It's been so nice to have her nearby.  Whenever I see her, I'm flooded with relief.  A familiar face!  I hope going to the same school will bring us even closer together.

To sum things up, you simply cannot go into college expecting to make a lot of best friends right away.  That isn't how friendships work.  They take time.  Unfortunately, when you're feeling homesick and lonely and you don't know hardly anyone around you, you long for best friends more than usual.  I think this is one of the hardest parts of college: trying to make close friends in such a short amount of time. 

What do you think of people who act as if they're very close friends even though they've only met each other recently in college?
I don't want to judge these people, but I can't help but doubt that these friendships are all that real.  I'm seeing a lot of this, especially within sororities, and it just seems fake to me.  I don't understand it.  These girls have known each other for a week and a half and they're already posting Facebook pictures of them hugging with captions like, "MY BEST FRIEND FOREVER!!!!"  I personally can't imagine something like that happening in my life.  It takes time for me to trust someone enough to hug them and open up to them.  (But then again, I'm me.)

However, if "close" friendships, however shallow they might actually be at first, are being made, then I'm happy for those girls.  Being best friends with someone right away seems a little sketchy to me, but at least they are making friends right away.  Good for them.

What's the best way you keep in contact with friends and family?
Want to know something awful?  I don't have phone service in my dorm room.  That means the only way I can talk on the phone or text with my family and friends is when I'm either sitting outside by the pool or when I'm out and about.  That's a huge hassle.

My favorite way to communicate with friends and family would have to be Skype.  It's so nice to see someone's face when I speak to them, even if it makes me feel a little bit more homesick than usual.  Skype is basically talking on the phone, but better, so that would have to be what I use the most.  Facebook is also a key tool in keeping in touch with everyone.  I love looking at pictures and reading statuses to see what everybody is up to.

It's tough, being away from family and friends.  Very tough.


  1. We need to hang out bub.

  2. I love both of these so far! You do such a great job answering our questions... (: Thanks for this!