Sitting on my dorm room floor scrolling through Pinterest food posts, I am suddenly struck by inspiration!

So I jump up, grab my kitchen cart and skip down the stairs of Belk Hall, ready to recreate those mouthwatering recipes.

Just another day in my life as a diehard foodie on campus with a kitchen-on-wheels.

Going away to college didn’t involve a huge change in environment or climate for me. I grew up near Atlanta, Georgia, so the transition to Charlotte, North Carolina, where I go to Davidson College, wasn’t particularly drastic. My mom is Davidson Class of 1985, so I grew up hearing stories and visiting campus. I chose Davidson because it is small, but still has all the amazing resources of a large school, and I felt comfortable in the smaller environment.

I also adjusted well to the academics — as a chemistry major with plans to pursue a Master’s in food science, I expected a pretty rigorous course load.

The biggest shock? The food, or lack thereof. As you can probably tell from my chosen career path, food — and the science behind it — plays a big role in my life. Eating a nutritious, balanced meal is important to me, as is knowing what goes into my food. I also love to cook — it’s a stress reliever — and I’ve always been a foodie.

Davidson has a reputation for healthy dining options, but they still were more limited to what I was used to at home. There’s the main dining hall that, apart from the salad bar, tends to serve up heavy fodder. There’s a cafe at the student union, which serves up a vegetable side as their only healthy option, as well as a store that sells cookies and chips. Aside from a concession stand in the basketball arena that only opens for lunch, that’s pretty much it. I was hoping to cook many of my own meals, so I was thrilled to learn that my freshman year dorm had a kitchen. But when I arrived on campus, I found that this kitchen was really in the Resident Advisor’s room — and not open to students. So I decided to get creative.

I loaded it up with pots, pans and the like and wheeled my new kitchen cart across campus.

Within a few weeks, I found a small kitchen open to students across campus. Loading my cooking utensils into a backpack was never going to work. So I called my mom and asked her to get me a cart on wheels. When it arrived, I loaded it up with pots, pans and the like and wheeled my new kitchen cart across campus.

Whenever I have time, I trek over to the kitchen and make myself a healthy meal. And I’m not the only one who benefits; I’ve started inviting my friends to what I call “family dinners.” It’s a great way for people to get together, relax and enjoy some good food and conversation. Some of the things I have made include lasagna, chicken broccoli Alfredo and garlic rosemary skillet bread. My friends have started making requests for some of their favorite foods that they miss from home.

Some students see me with my cart and look at me as though I’m crazy. Others run up to ask me where I got it. I suspect they’re thinking of copying me, if they haven’t already. Who knows, maybe it will become a trend. I think I have inspired others to work harder at cooking on campus, rather than just relying on the dining options on-campus or going to off-campus restaurants.

College takes up a lot of time, so I don’t get to use my kitchen cart as often as I would like. But I’m currently brainstorming ways to take my cart success to the next level. Who knows, maybe this will lead to a new side business. Maia’s Mess Hall has a nice ring.