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FOOD JOURNEY PART 2: JUNK FOOD, THE STUDENT DIET

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*Click here to start reading from the beginning of my food journey.

“Oh wow you really made a fancy lunch,” I said to my university roommate Michelle, as I peered onto her plate. 

“Umm, it’s just a chicken salad. You know, grilled chicken with lettuce and roasted veggies?” she said. 

“Interesting…” I said suspiciously, squinting my eyes and then turning away. 

As an undergraduate student, I never voluntarily ate anything green. Even though I had eaten plenty of vegetables when I lived at home, being on my own gave me the freedom to choose nachos over a salad any day. 

During this part of my food journey (junk food journey), my typical grocery shopping routine was to head straight towards the frozen food section and then down the middle aisles. 

“Hmm, Michelina’s are not on sale this week. I’m opting for frozen burritos instead.”

So what kind of meals did I actually eat as a university student? Here were my top 8 junk food favorites. 

1. Ravioli in a can 

Ah yes, true Italian night with the best ravioli made by the Chef himself. 

Did I care that the beef tasted like what I assume dog food would taste like? Nope! Or that the super soft worm-like noodles were probably breeding actual worms in my intestines? Nope again! I was just thankful that I didn’t end up like this woman.

2. Hot Pockets (Four Meat & Four Cheese Pizza)

This one was an aggressive winner. Four types of meats AND four types cheese? You really couldn’t get much further ahead in life than with this right here. 

The only downside was that I never learned how to properly eat these little lava pockets. Who knew that after removing it from its “sleeve” while it was steaming hot, taking a giant bite would burn the roof off from my mouth and leave it numb for the next three days.  

3. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with hot dogs

This was probably the finest gourmet meal that I made since it included multiple steps. From boiling the hot dogs, boiling the noodles in the hot dog water (in order to extract maximum hot dog flavor), making the cheese sauce, adding a spoonful of butter and milk, and leaving it all to settle into one big crusty mess. 

Then I would grab a fork and savagely dig into the pot. Oh, how it was so terribly awesome!

4. Instant Ramen


Guilty for sprinkling the contents from that silvery flavor packet onto my palm and then slowly licking it off like a cat drinking milk. Whenever I did this there was always a tiny voice in my head that whispered: “You wanna die?”  

But hey, at least I didn’t cook my ramen in butter.

5. Flaming Chicken Pot Pie

I shall dub this meal as “The flaming pie – Revenge of the bird.” On some days when I warmed up a frozen, ready-made pie in my little toaster oven, I would crank up the temperature to 500F. 

I would also forget about it for a while, only to come running back to it when a flame would burst through the oven roof. No problem, I’d just scrape off the burned part of the dough and dig into the filling. 

6. Pizza Hut

Extra grease on the bottom of the dough? Sign me up. Also, sign me up for a knife stabbing stomach pain and shortening my lifespan by 10 years. 

And please warm up the couch for me, I’ll be lying on it all night in a coma state. 

7. Burger King

One time around midnight, I felt a hunger pang while I was getting ready for bed and brushing my teeth. Unlike a normal human who would go for an apple, I went a different route. 

Next thing I knew, I was peeling off the pickles from my dried up hockey puck sandwich and sitting in the “BK Lounge” area, next to a woman who was feeding a squirrel. Lucky squeyal. 

8. Chinese take out

According to the Mayo Clinic, MSG is known to cause symptoms such as headaches, sweating, numbness, nausea and chest pains. 

What?! 

Did they forget to include “May experience feelings of pure happiness, satisfaction, and delight?” 


The trick is just to add more salt to cover up the MSG. And to eat an uncomfortable amount until you pass out. 

So there you have it. My top 8 favorite foods from my university days. 

So how did I eventually learn that you can actually make your own spaghetti sauce with real tomatoes and herbs, instead of opening a jar of Prego? How did I learn that in order to boil an egg, you actually need to add more than just an inch of water? 

With just a little help, from my friends. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the series to find out the gritty details. 

*Names have been changed to respect the privacy of individuals

Comment below if you guys ate junk food as a student (or are still eating junk :s)! And don’t click on this link if you don’t feel like looking at junk food pics after reading this article… 

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