Making the transition from high school to college can be intimidating, particularly because of all the new responsibilities that come with being more independent. For me, when I first came to college one of my biggest worries was the change in my eating habits. What I’ve found though, is that the food options at USC are numerous and it’s been easy to find and cook food.

As a freshman, I, like all the other students living in dorms at USC, had a meal plan. There are three options for full meal plans: unlimited swipes to the dining halls, or “dining dollars” for the restaurants on campus, or a combination of the two. Last year, USC completed a new dining hall and gave the existing ones a makeover. The three dining halls are now totally revamped! The new tables and décor make for a comfortable place to sit and eat. With grills, salad bars, pizza, and an assortment of daily foods there are ample food choices. Check out the cover photo to see the salad bar at EVK – the cafeteria on the northeast side of campus.

Restaurant choices for those who have the “dining dollars” plan include Seeds, Lemonade, Panda Express, California Pizza Kitchen, RTH Café, Popovitch hall café, Literatea, Tro Gro, Carl’s Junior, and Verde.

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Last year was my first year without a meal plan and my eating habits have completely changed again. Now I have a kitchen and I have to cook for myself. My roommate is an amazing cook and loves to bake, which makes our meals delicious and fun to cook together. There isn’t always time to cook food though, so we always try to make leftovers and have something in the freezer we can warm up quick. There are also a lot of delicious restaurants in the area that deliver like LA Café for a great panini, Trio House if you’re feeling Thai food, or Manas if you want Indian.

Though I was scared coming into college of not having my parents’ homemade meals every evening, I’ve found that the food options at USC have made the transition to feeding myself fairly easy, and that cooking for myself is more fun than anticipated!