When one goes away to college, their life changes dramatically. They are forced to make changes in their own lives in order to adapt to college life. When one is in high school and living at home, their eating habits and personal hygiene practices are for the most part controlled by their parents. They are told what to eat and when to eat it. They are told to keep their room clean and to take their vitamins, etc. When one moves away to college, they are on their own. There is no one telling them to clean their room, or to do laundry or what they have to eat. In some colleges and universities, it is required that freshmen live on campus and eat at least two meals a day in the dining hall. This isn’t necessarily for the university to monitor a student’s eating habits but rather to get the student acquainted with the campus and other people living there. Food served in college dining halls has not been known for it’s nutritional value. However, over the past couple of years college chefs have been working to change that. While a lot of students have committed to eating the healthier foods and trying to stay healthy, the vast majority lives on pizza and taco bell or any other cheap fast food chain that is open until the late hours of the night. College is a fast paced environment and fast food caters to college students. In this fast paced environment, students more often than not neglect their health and personal hygiene and the consequences range from obesity to deadly eating disorders.

“The Freshmen fifteen” is one of the most dreaded rights of passage into college. It is a well-known fact among college students, that one gains fifteen pounds during the first year of college life. Women are the main targets of this incident but men are also affected. When everything around a person is changing, that person must also change.
Studying hard and writing many papers goes hand in hand with eating pizza, drinking beer and going for days without sleep. A person who has eaten healthy for their entire life can get pulled into this lifestyle very easily. It seems that almost everyone on the campus lives like this and when you look at a student’s schedule, eating healthy would almost take too much time. It is much easier for one to order a pizza or drive down to the Taco Bell pick up window than it is to cook a well balanced meal. College dining halls have never been known for the nutritional value of their food. When a dining hall or cafeteria is mentioned, casserole and macaroni and cheese come to mind. However, college chefs have been working towards a better, more nutritious and diverse menu. “We’re seeing a change in ingredients, not a lot of heavy creams and fats, but a demand for rotisserie and spices,” says Lars Kronmark of the Culinary Institute of America. “It’s up to the students to choose. They can still get french fries and fried fish, but it used to be they didn’t have a choice,” he adds.
While colleges are working toward a healthy more diverse menu in the dining halls, students can be very critical when it comes to food. Lisa Dwinnell, a chef at Smith College for over twelve years, once served blackened catfish. The Students were disgusted with the meal choice and the next day there were empty pizza boxes littered all over the campus. When the healthy choice for food does not satisfy the taste buds, students turn to the easy greasy option.
With more international students enrolling in American universities, Dining halls try to cater to the ethnic tastes of these new students. These students can be tough food critics as well. “When we put something that doesn’t belong in a dish, they know,” Kronmark states. Just because there are straw mushrooms and bamboo shoots in a dish does not necessarily make the meal Asian. If this dish were to be called an Asian meal, someone from Thailand is sure to be insulted and will stress to the chef that they don’t eat those things. Even students who are from the U.S are very critical