College Survival 101: Dining Halls

July 10, 2015

Don’t know what kind of food to expect when you get to college? We had some of our recent College Admits tell us more about their dining experiences. Everything from where to eat, what the best food is, and all sorts of advice.
jaclynh: Compared to other colleges, I would say that Boston College has pretty good food. They offer a wide range of choices at every dining hall on campus—it’s not all pizzas and hamburgers. In total, there are seven different places to eat on campus, so you’ll always be able to find something to suit your mood. The only downside is that despite the variety, the food can feel repetitive after a while because BC offers the same schedule of food from week to week. While it definitely can’t beat a home-cooked meal, the food here is certainly better than most college dining halls. 

amcquillen: I don’t have a meal plan, but I’ve used the dining halls before, which are buffet style. You can get hot meals based on the menu of the day, or, if you like consistency, you can buy cold meals like salad, cereal, and fresh fruit, which are always the same. It’s really up to you what and how much you eat at the dining hall. Really, the only thing I’ve heard complaints about are the hours of operation. As far as off-campus dining goes, we have an incredible variety of options because we’re so close to Boston. I love getting delivery food, but I’ve also started cooking. Buying groceries at a local cooperative is also a really easy thing to do at MIT, so don’t feel limited to the dining halls!

rafael.go.58: There’s only one dining hall on campus—Leo O’ Donovan Hall, or Leo’s, as it’s more commonly known. Because it’s the only dining hall servicing the university it’s fairly large, with two floors and a variety of dishes. Granted, it does get crowded sometimes, but there are a lot of restaurants nearby that students like to frequent, so you have plenty of other options. As for the food, like any other university, it’s buffet-style, and like any other buffet, the emphasis is on quantity over quality. There are a lot of choices, but you get tired of it pretty quickly. On the flip side, the surrounding area boasts a plethora of restaurants and bars, making Leo’s a blessing in disguise as you have plenty of reason to visit them. 

cstubbe2794: Emerson College is very small, so there’s only one full dining hall on campus, as well as three cafe-type dining areas. As with most colleges, the dining hall food isn’t particularly good, though you do get used to it after some time. Students frequently create petitions or organize protests about the quality of the food being served and the treatment of the workers at my school. Many of the issues stem from the fact that a lot of the students here are vegan or vegetarian, and the dining hall doesn’t accommodate their needs very well. Students with gluten allergies and dairy allergies have a hard time finding well-rounded meals as well. The cafes are a little bit better, but all the options are the same all the time, so it does get tedious. 

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