Being Dairy-Free at College
College is a time when most people meet their best friends. Being vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free or lactose intolerant should not keep you spending time with fun at college or university. However, between pizza or ice-cream parties, sometimes, it is hard not to feel superfluous.
I am lactose intolerant; therefore, I know what it means to be friends with people who would like to get together to eat pizza and to choose between either declining the invitation or joining and being forced to explain why I am not eating everything that the others are.
Below, you will find several pieces of advice on how to live dairy-free in university without sacrificing a social life.
Do not Be Afraid of the Dining Hall
Most universities in the US have become more helpful and accommodated to students who have specific dietary preferences. Now, you do not have to worry about being able to find particular products and dishes in the dining hall. Concentrate on meeting new people and relax between your classes, instead of being focused on food.
Nowadays, numerous dining halls have symbols on food labels so that you can see what you can and cannot eat. If there are any questions or doubts concerning food, you can always turn to the staff for help.
Do not Feel Wrong when You Decline any Invitations
Sure, you would like to hang out with everyone who invites you, as college is supposed to be the time to make new friends and socialize. However, this does not mean that you have to say “Yes” to all the invites. If looking for dairy-free options at different places numerous times a day makes you stressed, you can decline invitations. Saying “No” does not mean you are rude. It just lets you have some “me time,” which is okay in a student’s schedule.
Own Who You are
You should not be ashamed of being dairy-free, no matter whether it is because of intolerance or an allergy or because you are a vegan. You can make up several dairy-free snacks you like the most and show your friends that it can be delicious, too!
Find a Squad
It is a fact that you are not the only one in your college, who does not eat dairy products. You can find other students that do not eat this kind of food and connect to them. Having at least one thing in common is a good way to start making friends. Spending time with people, who share the aversion to dairy products, can make you feel much more comfortable.
Being intolerant of or having an allergy to certain foods, simply not liking it, or not consuming it because of specific beliefs does not itself mean you are an unlikeable person. You and your acquaintances have to realize that it is just a part of your personality. Do not let being dairy-free prevent you from getting a great and unforgettable college experience. Grab your friends and have some fun!