5 Tips on How to Go Vegan in College

Although pizza delivery, late nights and tight budgets characterize college, it’s also an ideal opportunity to develop lifelong healthy habits. This four-year incubation period is the time to focus on becoming the best version of yourself. Despite limited dining room options or roommates who seem to subsist on instant beef-flavored ramen and microwave macaroni and cheese, going vegan on campus is perfectly doable. Become your best self, not only through the higher education you pay for, but through your lifestyle. Here are five tried-and-true steps to help you easily go vegan on (and off) campus.

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1 Please investigate

Before throwing away your stash of animal-based ready meals, it’s important to find out why. Most people who jump onto veganism just because it’s “trendy” can’t adhere to that lifestyle. There are many reasons to be vegan. Taking some time to research the benefits can help you learn more about the culture and ensure you make the change forever. While there is a wealth of resources to motivate your journey, we strongly recommend starting with documentaries.

sea ​​spiral and cow piracy explain in detail the environmental impact of animal husbandry. Add to The Game Changers what health, and vegetated Join your queue for an insight into the health benefits of a plant-based diet. 101 Reasons to Go Vegan, a video presentation from the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, is another resource to help you along the way. Dubbed vegan Netflix, VegMovies is a one-stop shop for finding vegan-focused movies.

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Wherever you start, all of these resources use science-based facts to promote the concept of veganism. We promise all of this is far more entertaining than reading any other textbook. College kids get enough of that.

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2 Take baby steps

Going vegan can be a lengthy transition, not an instant transformation. Don’t be discouraged if you encounter some bumps in the road on your journey. College is a time of distractions and temptations; If you drop the ball one night and treat yourself to some non-vegan cookies in the dining room, don’t beat yourself up. If it takes the entire academic year to commit, that’s fine.

When you face setback, remember your why and lean in. Every progression is different, and that’s okay. Pro tip: Next time you see those cookies in the dining room, grab a box of Oreos from your school’s grocery store instead. Also check out these accidentally vegan snacks and cookies so you can stock up!

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3 Get creative in the dining room

Gone are the days of mysterious cafeterias. As of 2017, 70 percent of colleges offered at least one vegan option daily.

If your school lands in that minority percentile, you might just need to be a little creative. A typical vegan night in the dining room might include spinach and edamame from the salad bar, rice and beans from the Mexican station, and cooked vegetables from the hot food section. Sure, these flavors might not exactly complement each other, but let’s face it; You’re eating college cafeteria food – omnivore or not, it’s time to lower the bar.

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4 Treat yourself to off-campus dining

Vegan or not, we all need a break from the monotony of the canteen. Today, most urban areas offer delicious vegan-friendly options, and most cities have at least a few vegan restaurants.

To find your new favorite to-go order, compare HappyCow and Yelp with reviews and little-known vegan options. These tools are invaluable for college towns or suburbs. You may have never discovered this one cafe that serves vegan cupcakes while living in your bubble on campus! Another option is to search for hashtags on Instagram. Enter #vegan(yourtown) for local insider tips. For example, for all of you at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, check out the pastries behind the hashtag #veganchapelhill!

Pro tip: Check out our VegNews city, food and restaurant guides for even more vegan-friendly restaurants near you. Or, if you have access to a kitchen and prefer to roll up your sleeves, our dairy, cheese and even beer and wine guides make plant-based grocery shopping a breeze. Also check out our vegan recipes for some #cookinginspo.

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5 Stay accountable

When entering college, making new friends seems daunting. No fear! The vegan niche can even speed up the process. It’s easy to meet other vegans in food clubs, vegan restaurants, or even the dining room. Food is one of the easiest topics to associate with, because who wouldn’t want to eat something after a long day of class?

Having vegan friends who hold you accountable — and having fun doing it — is key to the longevity of your new plant-based lifestyle. As you work on those best-friends-forever bonds, hold yourself accountable by creating a food-based Instagram (or go ethical fashion—you’ll have a style-conscious, locked-in audience instantly). Dedicating a public space to share your culinary creations, edible adventures, or a second-hand vegan leather jacket can help boost your vegan confidence.

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Not bogged down with homework? Take it to the next level and create a vegan YouTube channel or blog with easy-to-use website building tools. Whether an Instagram account, website, or YouTube channel is your creative alley, expressing your vegan passions with others is a sure-fire way to stay accountable.

If you’re commuting from home, check out these easy beginner vegan dishes that you can master in no time. If you’re lucky, your parents might get some money for groceries – and you can veganize them in the process!

Caroline Hughes is a Distinguished Student from Texas Christian University and holds a BA in Strategic Communications with a minor in Business Administration.

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