Do people judge you if you eat alone in the dining hall (at college) every day?

No, I did it whenever I ate lunch but it was at a smaller college. Maybe someone did notice, but moe important I didn’t care. I was there to eat because I was hungry and I really needed just to eat and then maybe have a little time before my next class. In other words if I didn’t mind, it just didn’t matter.

Now forward many many years later and I’m an older lady who still 99% of the time will eat alone when I eat out unless I happen to have my grandson with me.My husband is always gone so it’s no big dea to him, he’d rather eat at home so I actually truly have learned to enjoy the experience.

If someone notices, and they may, who cares if I don’t? To me when I see someone else eating alone it just registers with me that they are eating alone. I don’t feel sorry for them or wonder what’s up. I think as somene else said, if anything, it says to others that you are okay with yourself and that’s a strength.

Now if it makes you sad or something , do something about it… try to actively find someone to eat with and change the situation… otherwise enjoy your meal and use the time to read or just think about whatever you want . In the scheme of life, this is one of those things that can teach you to comfortable in situations that require going t alone. It’s not a bad or sad thing on any level. :slight_smile:

“No one is as obsessed with you as you are.” :slight_smile:

Especially in college. You could always eat while seated on the floor, or always eat standing up. You could walk around eating. As long as you’re not bothering anyone, you’re just “doing your own thing.” It’s one of the beauties of college.
(Of course, I went to college in California so ymmv elsewhere.)

Last week’s Freakonomics podcast dealt with just this issue. They were discussing various studies about how accurate we are in knowing what other people are thinking.

In one experiment a subject was sent into a room to fill out some paperwork wearing an embarrassing t-shirt. When asked what percent of the people noticed what was on his t-shirt the subject guessed 50%. Then the people in the room were asked what was on his t-shirt and not a single person had noticed it.

There were other studies discussed as well. It’s worth a listen.

I never paid attention to anyone else doing it and often ate alone myself in college. Both because of schedules, wanting to just eat and get out rather than make it social hour and because many of my friends lived off-campus and so didn’t use the dorm cafeterias. Breakfast was the big one for this since everyone started their days at different times.

In the first week or two, you’d get people ‘hooking up’ so to speak and finding eatin’ buddies but after that people got into their own routines.

Don’t worry, PSXer. Just hook up your video disc player to a ghetto blaster, and you’ll have a group of breakdancing friends around you before you know it.

College was a long time ago but I seem to remember that a lot of people ate alone. I did most of the time. No one had the same schedule so it was common. It was also before cell phones so it wasn’t easy to check on what your friends were doing.

I oftentimes eat alone in the dining hall. There are some others who eat alone as well. Honestly, nobody past high school gives a crap about this; and I never thought about it or tried to hide myself. I transferred to my current University as a Junior so I didn’t have that many friends in the dorms where I lived.

My school is set up very strange where:

  • Some students live in the dorms
  • Some students live in the two “other” dorm complexes
  • Some live in on-campus apartments
  • Some live in off-campus apartments
  • Some live in off-campus homes

So when you meet friends in class, chances are they won’t live near you. Students who don’t live in the dorms rarely come to the dorms unless it’s for relationship reasons. So it’s not too often you would have the chance to find somebody to eat with for every meal.

Plus, I share a dormroom so it’s nice to get a lil privacy every now and then.

Back in my day, you’d eat breakfast alone while reading the campus paper. These days, I’d guess that everyone is furiously tapping on their phones and I’d assume less “Has no friends” and more “We’re less interesting than the person he’s texting with”.

I once made the mistake of going to a table in the dining hall that had one girl sitting there. I pulled out a book to read while eating and she yelled at me for not talking to her.

We later got married so it worked out OK.

Don’t a lot of people eat alone and aren’t most colleges so large that it would be impossible to notice the same person eating alone all the time unless that person spent all their time in the cafeteria?

I lived off campus and usually had a different class schedule than my friends, so I would frequently go to the cafeteria just to grab a snack and read/catch up on work for 20 or so minutes. I never thought anything of it and I highly doubt anyone else did.

If my friends and I wanted to eat and socialize we would go to a restaurant that had decent food.

And yes, I have eaten by myself at a restaurant if I’m out doing errands alone and I’m hungry. What am I supposed to do- starve because I think someone might judge me?

Eating alone anywhere for any reason is no big deal. Meals do not have to be social occasions.

How does she feel about it?

No one notices or cares. People have their own problems.

There is a creepy thing in my town… if you deliberately sit alone to eat, invariably someone will sit right near me. Even if I ignore them and they have their pick of any table in the place. There is a high expectation of interaction, but I don’t see how I’m obligated yo do so. If I’m eating, using my phone, reading the paper, writing etc, they know I’m quite happy alone. I never feel self conscious, it’s just annoying.

Wow, I wish I had your problem.

If you dont mind me asking. What state are you from? Here in NY that’ll probably never happen unless your a hot blonde in your 20’s with Double D’s.

I’m in Australia. And male.

Me too! :cool:

I nearly always used to sit on my own in these situations, and it would often attract attention in a nice way from the kitchen ladies! :smiley:

I bet they did pay attention to the fact that you were reading a book, it’s just that to them it was something that added to your lonely appearance.

This, seriously.

One of the most important lessons I learned as I aged was that people really don’t give a fuck what you do, what you look like, or what you say…(unless you are particularly outrageous). Eating alone in a cafeteria ranks waaaay down the list of ‘things that other people notice’. They just don’t. They’re more invested in carrying their tray to their table without tripping/spilling the food, and looking oh so cool in the process.

It’s the best and most liberating thing in the world to fully understand that **People Are Not Looking at You or Judging You. ** They’re too busy thinking that you are looking at them and judging them!


And even if they are, who gives a shit? Learning not to give a fuck what random strangers think of you is another important life lesson.