College can be a very stressful time. Juggling classes, jobs, social life, and health are often complex. It’s essential to prioritize what is important to you at the time and how you want to live your life. Making a living as a vegan in college can seem impossible because of all the hurdles that come with it, but there are many ways around these obstacles.
1. Establish Your Diet
Many vegans are very picky when it comes to food. It’s essential to research the diet you want to stick with, especially in college. Reading up on what foods (and specific ingredients) you should eat is essential, especially as a first-year student.
Most colleges are selling the “healthiest” choice, which usually is “whole grain and low-fat products” and “vegetables and fruits.” Vegetables and Fruits? These can sometimes be harder to come by on campus because of the lack of variety in terms of fresh produce. To make it easier on yourself, stock up on various frozen vegetables. They usually come in much bigger packages and have better shelf life than fresh vegetables.
2. Learn to Cook Vegan Recipes
While many are intimidated by learning to cook, it’s pretty easy. Just Google vegan cooking, and you will find tons of recipes that can be easily made at home. If you are worried about not knowing how to cook, then learn to make essential foods like peanut butter and canned beans. You can make a meal out of those two things as long as there is other protein (an egg or vegan cheese). You could also try learning to use tofu as a meat replacement (smoked tofu is excellent if you don’t want something too heavy for your breakfast).
Learning to cook vegan recipes will be well worth the time and effort in the long run. You can save tons of money by not having to eat out all the time and with endless amounts of junk food. By cooking vegan at home, you will reduce your intake of processed “junk” foods that are very hard on your body.
3. Create Your Community
When you first arrive on campus, make it your mission to inform as many people you meet as possible about the vegan lifestyle. The more people know about it, the easier it will be for you to find out where you can eat and where you can buy your products. It’s a good idea to label any vegan products on your fridge with tags so that all your roommates and other dormers can see them immediately.
It’s also a great idea to participate in any freshman fairs that occur in your college. These help students understand how to manage their finances as well as how to eat healthily. It is an excellent way to gather information about the vegan lifestyle and how it can benefit you and your future.
It is important to remember that setting up your diet and building a community is very difficult. It can take some time and a lot of work, but you will feel great knowing that you have taken the initial steps to become a vegan.