Add to that a penchant for late-night activity, and it is easy to see why college-based eateries serve students into the early morning.
Chapel Hill is no exception to this collegiate norm, with numerous restaurants catering to rumbling stomachs -- and lean wallets.
For relatively modest prices, students can get their fill from a wide variety of menus, ranging from sandwiches to bean-packed vegetarian burritos to the college delicacy of freshly delivered pizza.
Local restaurants serve these foods to those burning the midnight oil while poring over textbooks.
I Love NY Pizza, located at 106 W. Franklin St., serves up fresh pizza pies until midnight Mondays and Tuesdays and until 3 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Manager Ahmed Ammar said students see the eatery's food as a bargain.
"They love it," Ammar said.
He said the meat lover pizza and pizza and drink combo meals are particularly popular among the restaurants' clientele.
The establishment gets much of its business during the late night and early morning hours, he said, with lines often stretching outside the door.