So honestly, I’m not going to lie and say being vegan during college is the easiest thing in the world but I will say that my University actually makes it a lot easier than other Universities.
I attend Queens University of Charlotte, located in North Carolina. They actually do label all of their vegan items in the cafeteria and you can look online to see if some of their staples are vegan. They have a soy milk bar, one with original soy milk and one for chocolate soy milk. When the cafeteria is lacking, I often resort to just getting their cereal because you can just look online to see which of their cereals are vegan.
The actual cooked meals section can be very weird. Some of the items are absolutely amazing and then sometimes it’s very questionable. They actually do have a vegan/ vegetarian section for core meals. This section often has some sort of tofu meal, sometimes curry and sometimes vegan chili. They make a lot of use of tofu, beans, and rice. I am not a huge spicy person so that has been my biggest issue in the cafeteria, often leading me to the salad bar or even just getting a bowl of cereal (usually, I’m getting a bowl of cereal, honestly.)
In the Gluten- Free section, they typically have some sort of red potatoes there which is actually my favorite thing at Queens. Randomly, it will be over seasoned or under cooked but that is a very random situation. They also randomly have vegan mashed potatoes which I get so excited about!
Breakfast is obviously a little different, but they always have some fruit that’s obviously vegan and oatmeal. My favorite thing that they have breakfast wise is their hashbrowns and randomly when there is an omelet section, I can beg the guy manning that machine to clean their machine and cook some mushrooms for me.
They have a salad bar with some really dressing (I love balsamic vinaigrette), they also have chickpeas, lettuce, and all of the other basics. They label everything in this section whether or not its vegan which is always fun! I would love for them to add mushrooms though.
They also have a decent deli where they have their breads labelled online and then all of their vegetables and things like that are obviously vegan. I would LOVE for them to add like grilled tofu or something, just to give me something like that and if they added it then my love would be amazing
I actually have an unlimited meal plan which allows me for 5 meal exchanges. So I can go to Lions Den or the Coffeehouse to get stuff there. The Coffeehouse is basically just an unofficial Starbucks so I can get their coffee, I just have to remember to add soy, coconut, or almond milk. As for the food section, they actually have hummus, peanut butter and jelly, and this quinoa sandwich thing.
The Lions Den is actually one of my favorite places to go because I am absolutely obsessed with their Garden Burger, which is this vegan burger that I can add grilled mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard. It’s my favorite thing at Queens and makes me so happy.
I do randomly get into a protein problem which is why I am so happy that the coffeehouse actually does have vegan protein bars and there is a Harris Teeter .6 miles away from campus that you can easily go to.
Overall, it’s definitely not the easiest thing. You’re going to be constantly battling your temptations when the cafeteria has a really decent thing but being a vegan at University is not an impossible task. It’s gotten easier over the semester as I learned that some of the cereals actually are vegan and I was introduced to Lions Den about midway through the semester. But if it’s something you’re passionate about then it is not hard. Plus, if you’re in a common vegan area, you can always try out some of the restaurants randomly which is something I definitely do every once in awhile.