Being a vegetarian in college can be tough. From limited options in the Dining Hall to the temptation of ordering takeout, it can be difficult to get the nutrition you need. Luckily I’ve pulled together some tips on being a vegetarian at St. John’s from my own personal experience! Keep reading for 4 tips for vegetarians at SJU!
1. Learn your options.
At St. John’s you want to start by scoping out your options. On the freshman meal plan you are allowed one meal exchange per meal period throughout the day. My advice to you is to utilize it before resorting to Monty’s. Once you swipe in at Monty’s you can’t use a meal exchange, and you have to do a premium swipe. You only get a certain number of these and want to save them for the truly desperate times when you’re starving in the middle of the night and need a diner grilled cheese (which are bomb by the way). So, learn the food options you like best on campus when you arrive, for example Freshen’s, and put those at the top of your eating list when you’re starving at dinner.
2. Plan ahead.
Oftentimes you get a chance to actually plan ahead before you eat, and you should take that chance. Look up the menu for Monty’s before you swipe in, that way you know if the tofu is overcooked from the heating lamps or if there’s a sauce keeping it from drying out. Then you can decide if you want to roll the dice with the options or play it safe with something else on campus.
3. Always have a backup.
By backup I mean keep a stocked mini fridge freezer. Amy’s and MorningStar make awesome college friendly vegetarian foods that keep in the freezer really well. So I recommend picking out your favorites and keeping them on hand for when your meal choices are limited, for when you feel sick and don’t want to leave your room, or for Finals Week when you are locked into your desk.
4. Ask questions!
Nobody wants to be the vegetarian always asking about meat in meals. At Monty’s, most foods are marked vegetarian or vegan for convenience. However, those aren’t always accurate. I always ask if my gut is telling me that something isn’t right. So I ask people, and more times than not, my gut was right and it was mislabeled. Also, beware of the days they hide bacon in the mac and cheese! I hope these tips for vegetarians at SJU help you!