Don’t Touch My Ramen – A College Guide to Sharing Food

College is a time for sharing. Sharing a room, germs and your knowledge with friends when they’re struggling with homework. However, one area of sharing that can prove to be a challenge for college students involves one thing we all know and love: food.

Sure, your and your best friend may wear each other’s clothes, but if you touch their Chef Boyardee, there will be drama. So, how do students learn to protect both their food and their sanity?


Having communal food can be nice for all of your roommates – everyone gives a little and takes a little. Although, before you consider this an option, make sure everyone is on board. This was a lesson Manistique sophomore Carolyn Mooi learned the hard way.

“We have a shelf in our main room and whatever is on the shelf is fair game,” Mooi said.

This may seem like a good idea at first, but Mooi learned later that sometimes roommates don’t share the same tastes, and if you buy too much thinking that your roommates will help you eat it, things can sometimes turn foul.

“Something smelled funny in our room,” she said. “It turns out that there was a box of rotten apples on the shared shelf that we didn’t even know were there.”

If you choose this route, think twice before kindly buying food that might not be consumed by your roommates.


Sharing the basics is another strategy used by many students. Everyone has their own food, but they also share basic items like milk, butter or bread. This works well as long as people make sure to leave a little for their roommates.

Mount Morris freshman Ally Clement and her roommates employ this sharing strategy.

“We share the basics,” Clement said. “As long as you ask, we’ll share. Sometimes a roommate won’t ask, (and) that’s where we run into a problem.”


As we learned in kindergarten, sharing is caring. Grass Lake junior Ashlee Muscato and her roommates have come up with an alternate sharing solution.

“We usually have dinners together once a week, or I’ll make cookies and leave them out for everybody,” Muscato said.

Perhaps by offering homemade cookies to her roommates, Muscato is preventing the theft of Thin Mints from her personal stock. Either way, it seems that sharing food makes it easier to resist the temptation of stealing a few of your roomies’ goodies.

Clearly, there are positives and negatives to every strategy, and every situation is a little different. Whether you and your roommates choose to share your food like you share selfies on Facebook, or if you prefer to lock up your Easy Mac in a sealed vault, managing food is a pre-requisite to college life that every student must learn.