Among the worst culinary offerings manifested by human beings, college food ranks somewhere between prison fare and Olive Garden. It’s like vomiting profusely for hours after a Saturday night on the town: Gross—really gross—but ultimately necessary for survival.
Of course, we don’t endorse this savage behavior, but we’re well aware of it. So aware that we’ve created a field guide to tell you—and your stomach—that it's time to grow up, both psychologically and nutritionally.15. Insant Noodles
Is this even a question? Ramen noodles are a godsend for any cash-strapped college student: they're cheap, fit for consumption, and impossible to fuck up. A typical B-minus student might go through hundreds of packets during an extended stint at his respective mediocre state college.
But despite their widespread consumption, the fact remains: these faux-Japanese, faux-gourment, faux-noodles rarely foster enjoyment. They're as close as you'll ever come to eating a bowl of fried hair. The experience is somehow made even worse when you eat the noodles dry, in brick form. You're better off just chomping into a barbed wire fence. 14. Easy-Mac
It screams processed, but it's sooo good. How a few specks of powder and a little water can erupt into this massive explosion of cheesy goodness in only three minutes will forever elude us, but we're not even asking. We'll just bask in these cups of heaven for four years, before, you know, graduating to boxed macaroni. Oh, and actual food.13. Plain Eggs
As far as dissatisfying college breakfast options go, few are worse than plain eggs. No matter whether you prefer scrambled, over-easy, or sunny-side up (admit it: you only know how to make them one of these ways), they still end up tasting like remorse every time. They're not hard to prepare, which is a plus, but is also indicative of the effort they put into satisfying your taste buds. The only redeeming factor here: if you know how to make eggs, you can technically tell people (people like your Mom) you know how to cook. Ah, the magic of Pam.12. Funyuns
A popular choice of stoners everywhere, Funyuns are fit for sating marijuana-induced cravings, and basically nothing else. Think about it: they are air-filled rings flavored like onions. Like onions! An idea so repugnant, so obscene, the inventors were probably high when they thought of it. Eat a few bags during college, and then never, ever return to them.11. Peanut butter, cookie butter or any of the assorted flavored butters
The thrill here surely lies in being able to scoop a glob of peanut (or whatever) butter from the jar and promptly eat it without Mom seeing. But now that you're at college, there are plenty of things – rebellious things – you could be doing that are infinitely more worth your while. Try watching an R-rated film. Or smoking a blunt. Or watching and R-rated film while smoking a blunt. Upon re-opening the refigerator door, you'll notice, the peanut (or whatever) butter will surely be waiting there, now calling your name. A stomachache will likely ensue.10. Sub Sandwiches
If you love food but hate that it has flavor, the sub sandwich is an always tempting option. Late-night delivery service in some college towns is limited, but luckily, places like Jimmy Johns exist to make your stomachs forever despise eating at night. Seriously, the roast beef and turkey taste exactly the same, and there's a mustard-y, vinegar-y mayonnaise concoction leaking out both sides. "I didn't even order mayonnaise," you profess, not really caring. You're hungry, so eat up.
They're salty, they're chees(z)y, and they'd be exactly the same color if they were regurgitated. So yes, Cheez-Its pass (with flying colors!) the litmus test of appropriate college dorm food. But don't be fooled by the big hunk of cheese on the front of the box – like pictures, the cheese element here just isn't real. Maybe that's why the spell it with a Z.
8. American Cheese Singles, String Cheese
Is it really cheese? Who cares. You're starving at three in the morning. You can't muster up the energy to consume an entire meal, so you open up the mini fridge and spot a package of these processed dairy delectables. You'll regret this later when you have to make yourself a plain turkey sandwich -- and eat it -- but for now, you're content.
The problem with Pringles is that they end up defeating you every time you pop the can open. You intend to chow down on a few chips -- a quick snack -- and then before you know it, you're three-fourths of the way to the bottom. Not wanting to face the disappointment of later opening up a one-fourth-full Pringles can, you proceed to devour the rest of them. Quickest 800 calories you'll ever eat.6. Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is good in that it is edible matter. That's to say -- does anyone else get the sense that a bowl of buttered packing peanuts would taste exactly the same as a fresh bag of Orville Redenbacher's? Convenience is the main factor that goes into eating this every other night while watching drama flicks on TNT. That and simulating a night at the movies, something you can't actually afford.5. Snack cakes
If you ever wanna know what the sponge inside your kitchen sink tastes like, eat one of these. Twinkies and their snake cake brethren are to heart disease what gasoline is to a lawnmower. The sole redeeming quality here is that they can quickly fill an empty stomach -- in the same way that a shower curtain can quickly fill an empty stomach if devoured in mere seconds.4. Fast Food Hamburgers
Every college student has late-night cravings. Some, more often than not, choose to sate them. It's apparent when they come home for Winter Break looking like an inflatable bounce house. A few hundred Whopper Jrs. are an express ticket to reaching such...depths. They're like regular hamburgers, only with extra heart attack.3. Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudels
These crusty breakfast offerings excited you when you were a kid bolting downstairs every Saturday morning to watch Recess. The 'pastries' never tasted anything like their advertised flavor, but you didn't care as long as the sprinkles and frosting were some absurdly unnatural hue.
Newsflash: you're in college now. You have facial hair, probably, and study philosophy, or work a legitimate job somewhere. Perhaps it's time to eat pastries that don't ooze cherry-flavored glue.2. Protein Bars
Protein bars are convenient, and well suited to keep you from starving to death. The good news ends there. Mostly, they're a simulation of what it's like to shove a clump of dirt in your mouth. Their appearance—akin to the droppings of a highly trained athlete who eats chocolate chips by the fistful—does little to shake that notion.1. Dining Hall Slop
What is it? No one knows for sure. Not even the withering old lady with the hangnail who scooped it out for you. This dish is, essentially, some quantity of unidentified meat suspended in unidentified brown goop. No one enjoys it, particularly, except if they're weird. But wait, if the server's wearing a hair net, then where did this come from, you say, pulling out a strand of long, greasy hair.
The answer: Just shut up and eat. Don't ask questions. Especially about the laxatives most colleges put in it.