As I enter into my finals months at UNC-Chapel Hill, I’ve spent some time reflecting on my experiences and growth from a first-year to a senior. While there certainly are some milestones in my college career, to be quite honest, it has completely flown by.
I function best when nearly every inch of space in my planner is penciled in. I’ve never been one to Netflix binge or just have chunks of free time in my schedule. I’m always looking to see how I can squeeze another meeting into my day, or find time to get a jumpstart on any upcoming projects. Inevitably I overbook myself and struggle with how to fit in everything that is important to me in 24 hours.
I’m convinced the best advice I received in college was to never eat alone.
Balancing multiple meetings, classes and other commitments each day can feel overwhelming – especially when you still want to invest in your social life. The past four years I have slowly implemented this ‘rule’ of sorts into my life and it has been an absolute game-changer.
Living on campus freshman and sophomore year made this incredibly easy, as the majority of my peers also had meal plans. Unless I tried incredibly hard, I would never eat alone. Some of my best friendships in college were solidified over bowls of cereal in Rams or mediocre mac & cheese in Lenoir. However, after moving off campus junior year the game changed.
Once I lived off campus, I often found myself eating at the kitchen table by myself, sucked into a homework assignment or scrolling through social media feeds when I ate at home. Alone time is great – if it’s spent wisely.
The reality is, you need to eat every single day. So why not be intentional about it? Sharing a meal with a friend, co-worker, professor, etc. is a seamless way to spend quality time with someone without it hijacking your schedule for the day.
There’s a reason families try to eat together every night – it creates a natural environment for conversation and can become the thread that binds relationships together.
Trying new restaurants or whipping up an easy recipe in the kitchen will always be better if someone else is by your side.
Shared experiences bring value to the most mundane moments in our lives. Even though you’ve eaten thousands of meals before and will eat thousands of more – striving to make each one special through intentionality will not only transform your calendar, but also your relationships.