What an Illinois Student Eats in a Week

When I was a high school senior, I had a lot of questions about dorm food. What was it like? Would I enjoy it? Is it better than high school cafeteria food?

To help with any questions you may have (and because I thought it would be fun to write about!), I took a picture of every meal I ate throughout the week and pieced the pictures together here.

Here’s What an Illinois Student (me!) Eats in a Week:

Monday 9/25

Breakfast — Illinois Street Residence Hall

On this day, I woke up super early in order to start this blog post off right! I don’t get breakfast in the dining hall often, but I thought the first meal of this blog post needed to be from the University itself. Here, you’ll see buttermilk pancakes, a pork sausage patty, a hash brown patty, and a tall glass of milk. It was worth getting up a half-hour earlier!

Lunch — Busey-Evans

Once my morning classes were done, I walked down the street to Busey-Evans for lunch. There was a huge variety of food that day, but I picked what appealed most to me—a grilled cheese sandwich, “roasted vegetable loaded baker” (seriously, that’s what they called it!), cream of tomato soup, Don’s pasta salad, some cheese sauce on the side, and blue Powerade. I loved dipping my grilled cheese into the tomato soup.

Dinner — Illinois Street Residence Hall

After an extremely long day (6 classes!), I found my way back to ISR for dinner. In this photo I show off some halal fried chicken wings, an assorted dinner roll, polenta, soy ginger flank steak, and a cold glass of water. The steak tasted great, and I needed the glass of water after a hot day outside!

Tuesday 9/26

Breakfast — My Dorm Room

This breakfast is much more like what I normally eat. In this image, you see a brown sugar Pop-Tart, Goldfish crackers, and some homemade cookies that my roommate gave me (thank you!). Usually, I don’t get up early enough (I love sleep) to go have a meal at the dining hall. Instead, I see what I have around my room that’s filling enough, and roll with it! I usually eat while heading to class (i.e. see later days in this post) so I can sleep as much as possible before my 8 a.m. class.

Lunch — Ikenberry Dining Hall

Before heading to a music rehearsal, I stopped by Ikenberry with a friend for lunch. To avoid the wait, I chose the shortest line I saw and picked up some soup, golden french fries, beef slices, a chicken sandwich, and a glass of iced water. What’s not shown? The awesome chocolate and vanilla ice cream cone I had for dessert!

Dinner — Chomps, ISR

I have a wacky schedule early in the week, so I unfortunately did not make it to any dining hall before they all closed. Instead, I headed to Illinois Street Residence Hall’s Chomps (a late-night dining option). My favorite hamburgers are cooked up at Chomps, so here you’ll see my swiss cheese hamburger, a side of fries, and a leftover Portillo’s milkshake I kept in the fridge after my my mom took me there during the weekend.

Wednesday 9/27

Breakfast — Smith Memorial Hall

On Wednesday morning, I was in a HUGE rush to get to class on time. As the week goes on, I procrastinate getting up in the morning. I quickly grabbed another brown sugar Pop-Tart and headed to my morning piano class (which you can see in the picture).

Lunch — Busey-Evans Dining Hall

After a full morning of classes, I walked with a group of friends to Busey-Evans. Above, you’ll see two fish-fillet sliders, cheese-stuffed ravioli, potato wedges, and a blue Powerade. The cheese-stuffed ravioli were my favorite part of the whole meal. I enjoyed being able to sit at one of Busey-Evans’ long dining tables with a large group of friends as I munched on my food.

Dinner — 57 North, Ikenberry


And here you see… nothing! Whoops! But I promise that I did eat dinner, even if it was on the go! On Wednesdays, a lot of my student organizations have meetings, and September 27 was no exception. After one meeting ended, I quickly ran to 57 North, Ikenberry’s alternative convenience-store style food option, and ran back to another meeting. I had a hamburger and a milkshake. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t taken a picture until after my hamburger was in my stomach and my milkshake was halfway gone. Sorry, friends!

Thursday 9/28

Breakfast — Bus Stop

Wanting to take a break from the Pop-Tarts, I tried pouring myself a bowl of Life cereal. After realizing my roommate and I were out of milk (and that I was running a few minutes late), I put the cereal in a container and ran out the door. I didn’t even miss my bus!

Lunch — Illinois Street Residence Hall

Since I forgot to take a picture of my dinner the night before, I tried to make up for it by including my friend’s lunch in this photo. Before my last rehearsal of the week, I stopped by ISR to grab a plate of spaghetti with marinara sauce, waffle fries, and a blue Powerade. On my friend’s plate, you’ll see a hamburger with bacon and french fries.

Dinner — Illinois Street Residence Hall

Even though I ate it for lunch that day, I couldn’t skip the spaghetti! With mashed potatoes and garlic bread on the side, it was a good meal.

Friday 9/28

Breakfast — Smith Memorial Hall

The Pop-Tart returns! Another day of on-the-go breakfast. Since it was Friday, I was glad it was my last day of running out the door in a hurry for a moment.

Lunch — Busey-Evans’ Oodles

While this picture doesn’t do it justice, this meal was delicious! Oodles is Busey-Evans’ specialty-lunch dining option open on Fridays. While the line is long, it’s worth the wait. You pick your toppings before a cook mixes your toppings and noodles in a pan to create a yummy pasta dish. On mine, I requested bacon, chicken, cheese, marinara, and a few other items. If you have a little over an hour for lunch on Fridays, drop by Oodles to check it out.

Dinner — Harding Band Building

Surprise! Friday was a football game day here on campus. Immediately after one of my classes ended at 3 p.m., I hopped into my uniform, zipped it up, grabbed my horn, and made my way to Memorial Stadium. After a short performance, we walked to go pick up our Jimmy John’s from the Harding Band Building before our Pregame performance. (This is actually not a new picture! You may remember it from my earlier blog post. I figured it was safe to reuse this picture since my Jimmy John’s box looks the same every game day.)

That’s all the pictures I have! I hope you enjoyed seeing what a college kid eats in a week. While I had many great meals, I think my favorite was my lunch from Oodles! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in my next blog!



Class of 2021
My major is Instrumental Music Education within the College of Fine and Applied Arts. I'm also part of the Marching Illini! Before moving to Urbana, I lived in Collinsville, Illinois, where we are known for some killer Italian food and the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle.