Ambassadors Campus Life Uncategorized

Dining Hall Hacks

Hi everyone! My name is Ankita and I’m majoring in Advertising and Sociology with minors in History and Graphic Design. Today I’m going to share my ultimate guide to the dining halls here at SMU. After three years of eating on campus, I’ve definitely learned a few tricks! Some of these require hopping around stations but they’ll really take your meals to the next level. 







  1. Upgraded Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts at the dining hall. The oatmeal comes plain and unsweetened, so I make sure to add lots of toppings to  give it flavor and make it more filling. My favorite toppings are peanut butter (by the toaster,) bananas, granola, brown sugar, and raisins, but I’ve also added berries and apples.
  2. Breakfast tortilla: I get my eggs scrambled with some cheese and pico de gallo and throw them into a tortilla. You can add whatever proteins and vegetables you want to this. I always put some Cholula on mine!
  3. Breakfast sandwich: I recently discovered this, and it is so easy. Grab a croissant and fill it with whatever you’d like for an easy breakfast sammie. My favorite combos are eggs, meatless sausage, and cheese, but you could easily do this with bacon or sausage.


  1. Upgraded Fried Rice: My favorite way to spice up fried rice is by adding eggs from the omelet bar. Grabbing eggs and veggies from the other stations is an easy way to add protein and flavor. Sometimes, I get vegetables and sauce and then I make my way over to the salad bar for some quinoa to add extra protein.
  2. Loaded Nachos: Arnold’s Tex-Mex station has all the tools you need to make your own nachos. You can add any of the proteins offered and top with queso, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and whatever else you’d like!
  3. Pink Vodka Pasta Sauce: This hack changed the way I ate pasta at Umph completely. Get pasta with half marinara and half alfredo sauce, and when mixed it turns into a pink vodka sauce! The consistency and texture is perfect and the combination adds tons of flavor.


  1. Starbucks Cups: These cups are lifesavers and are great for taking snacks with you on the go. My favorite things to add are Goldfish (by the salad bar!), baby carrots, and cereal. 
  2. Arnold Palmers: Super easy! Mix equal amounts lemonade and sweet tea for your very own Arnold Palmer.
  3. Root Beer Floats: Add some ice cream from the soft serve station to root beer/your favorite soda for an easy float!


  1. Ice Cream Sandwiches: This hack works best during lunch in Umph when cookies come fresh out of the oven. Grab two and add ice cream for your very own ice cream sandwich!
  2. Upgraded Waffles: Mix and match different toppings to upgrade your waffle! My roommates and I used to make a “waffle of the week” where we would all split a Texas-shaped waffle with different themed toppings. We added ice cream, brownies, cookies, cereal, or whatever else looked interesting.
  3. Affogatos: Add some coffee to ice cream for a DIY version of an affogato! Super classy and also tastes amazing.
  4. Caramel apples: Grab an apple from the front and some dulce de leche/caramel syrup from the ice cream topping bar for an easy dessert!

And there you have it! Let me know which ones you end up trying out. Don’t be afraid to get creative and create your own culinary masterpieces!

Ankita Padarthy

Class of 2021