The Best (and Worst) Snacks to Keep in your Dorm Room

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Meal plans never have enough quantity or variety, but stocking your dorm room with the right snacks can fill in all the gaps. Everyone has their favorites, but these snack do’s and don’ts can help you assemble the perfect pantry. So get in, loser, we’re going shopping—food shopping.

The Best

1. Popcorn

Even if you don’t have a microwave, popcorn is the perfect snack. You can buy it already popped, you can microwave it yourself or you can achieve popcorn nirvana and buy an air popper. My roommate and I did, and we self-seasoned it with a little oil and salt every time we had friends over to watch How to Get Away with Murder. We were popular.

2. Ice Cream

It might actually be the best snack ever. If your mini fridge has a freezer, you’re good to go. If not, you don’t have to miss out—certain spots in the fridge are colder than others, so your pints of Ben & Jerry’s won’t totally melt. Eat your feelings proudly at any time, day or night.

3. Cereal

All you need is a bowl and spoon and voila, instant breakfast, lunch and dinner. A handful doubles as a snack at any time, too. Imagine getting 15 minutes of extra sleep because you don’t have to trudge to the dining hall for breakfast. Just grab a half gallon of milk to stick in your fridge and you’re golden.

4. Pretzels

Salty and crunchy, pretzels easily satisfy mid-essay cravings. They’re the perfect study snack, and while it’s easy to eat too many, they’re definitely not the worst thing you could be eating. Plus, the crunch will keep you awake when you hit your third hour of calculus homework.

5. Dark Chocolate Covered Anything

Almonds, berries, pretzels, anything—they’re delicious and good for you. They’ll cater to your sweet tooth and give you energy when you’re falling asleep in history class. If you’re one of the weirdos who doesn’t like dark chocolate, you’ll probably be able to find a milk chocolate variety.

The Worst

1. Cheese & Crackers

Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese and crackers. But I’ve learned from experience that it’s just too much effort when you want a quick snack. I ate them properly maybe once, but now I just nibble on the block of cheese. Still delicious, but you’ll very rarely have the patience for it.

2. Guacamole

As much as we all love guac, it has a fatal flaw. Once you open it, it goes bad super fast. It’ll turn brown and gross after only a day or two in your fridge, so unless you’re planning to eat it all in one sitting (no judgement if you are, it’s your life), steer clear and avoid wasting your money. Feel free to grab the tortilla chips, though.

3. Giant Bags of Chips

I could be gentle about it and say giant bags are hard to store in a small dorm room, but I’ll be real with you: The reason you don’t want these around is because you’ll eat half the bag in one sitting by accident and hate yourself. I’ve been there and it’s not pretty.

4. Fruit

I’m not trying to discourage you from being healthy, but we’ve got to be realistic about fruit—it’s another food that goes bad quickly, and when it does, it stinks. Unless you’re an avid fruit eater, it’s probably not worth the risk of fruit flies.

5. Salsa

Delicious, but so messy. It takes effort to pour it into a bowl, and you kind of need to if you want to avoid getting your knuckles dirty by dipping directly into the jar. Plus, if you like to eat in bed (like most people), salsa is a genuinely terrible idea unless you like your pillows spicy and cilantro-flavored.

University of Maryland junior studying English and Linguistics. Super into books, food, and Parks & Rec, Terp for life, and future crazy dog lady.

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