Get creative:

Don’t be afraid to mix ingredients from different dishes, and get crazy with it. Nutella makes everything better: toast, cookies, waffles. Maybe even french fries? Go for it. Add some crunch to your ice cream with sugary cereal or put some soft-serve in that stale coffee. Take advantage of seasonings and sauces and mix them in a bland dish. It’s a buffet for a reason!

Remember that you can compost almost everything, so don’t throw anything away. Leave your napkins on your plate as you return your dirty dishes, and it will make it to the compost pile instead of the landfill.

Photo by Ying Dai / North by Northwestern

Don't Overload:

Although the dining halls have their drawbacks, having access to an all-you-can-eat buffet for every meal is not one of them. But it’s also easy to walk away balancing six different dishes you don’t really need. Relax – it’s not your job to single-handedly clean out the dining hall. Northwestern’s Campus Kitchen gathers extra food from the dining halls and donates the meals to needy Evanston residents. Instead of taking too much and wasting food, start small and go back for seconds if you’re still hungry.

Don't be lonely:

If your friends are busy and you have to eat alone, there’s no need to be lonely. You have your reliable friend Netflix. Grab a corner table and your laptop and catch up on the latest episode of Scandal. You’ll look smart and studious to everyone else as you pig out to your favorite show.

Still hungry?

When all else fails, ask for grilled chicken.

Photo by Ying Dai / North by Northwestern