10 Things You Should Know How To Make By 21

10 Things You Should Know How To Make By 21

You don't have to be a chef to nail these basics!


At 21, you should own at least a frying pan, a pot, and hopefully some garlic. These recipes are staples and can be tailored to your liking!

*Recipes aren't mine, but links are provided in the photos!*

1. An omelette

You should already know how to cook eggs, just add some vegetables and cheese so your breakfast looks less sad.

2. A chicken breast

Invest in a meat thermometer and look up a simple recipe for roasted chicken. Learn it. Add it to everything: pasta, sandwiches, and more. Remember that pepper may be too spicy for some people, so use it sparingly.

3. Pasta

I am not talking about handcrafted pasta. You should know how to boil water and cook noodles so they are no longer crunchy. Sorry college boys, ramen doesn't count!

4. Chili

Throw meat into a pot, add beans, tomatoes, spices, and vegetables. Bam, you have dinner for the whole week. Chili is also really affordable for the amount of volume you get. We have to pay our rent with four roommates somehow! This affordable recipe is a must.

5. Grilled cheese

I am not talking about Kraft Singles and white bread. You should know how to mix different types of cheeses and bread to make a fantastic lunchtime sandwich.

6. Pancakes

You can honestly just do a box recipe. Just cook them correctly, get a higher quality syrup, and it will impress whoever you had over last night.

7. A salad (not from a bag)

Yes, you could buy those Dole salad packs, but have some vinaigrette in your fridge. Add a spring mix, some cut vegetables, and a protein source so you can meet your #fitnessgoals.

8. A good cocktail or two

Even though Gatorade and Vodka are a good match, it might not be the best thing when hosting (or when you're drinking alone, I don't judge).

9. Rice

Invest in a rice cooker, you can get one for less than 20 dollars at Target. No one wants gruel when trying to make homemade Chipotle bowls.

10. Guacamole

One of the easiest things to make, plus you'll impress everyone with this at school. Put it on some toast, and stare at your student loan debt!

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.


I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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Why Is Attendance Still A Grade In College?

Please, someone, enlighten me.


This semester I have taken five classes. Every. Single. One. of my classes took attendance. Not only was attendance taken, but missing a certain amount of classes would hurt my grade.

This concept still surprises the heck out of me! Why does attendance still matter in college?

I also want to put on record that I actually go to class.

I wanted to include this little fact so people do not get the impression that I am lazy and don't actually care about my classes. I go to class. I have not missed a class this semester. Say what you want, missing class just isn't my thing.

Now, you might be wondering, "Well, since you don't miss class, why do you care about attendance?" Well, the reason I care is that on some days, going to class can be harder than others. There are some days it really would have been beneficial for me to skip a class, but I didn't want my grade to suffer.

First, let me say, I'M PAYING FOR THE DAMN CLASS!

If I don't show up, that's my money being wasted, and the professor gets paid either way. It should be my choice anyway since it's MY money. If there are people that do not want to try, then that's on them, but mandatory attendance will not make them try any harder. If I choose not to come to class, that's on me and that's my problem to handle. Why am I being punished for not attending a class I paid for?

Do professors not get that sometimes life just happens?

There are days when I get sick and can't go to class. There are days where I feel stressed or run down and I just need a day to breathe. There are days where I have a million other projects or papers due on the same day. Life happens outside of that one class. Sometimes you do need to prioritize other things like classes, work, family, and even yourself.

If I am sick, I shouldn't have to debate whether or not to go to class because skipping will affect my grade. On some days, not going to class is the best option and I shouldn't be penalized for that.

Don't start me on "excused" absences.

Proving that my absence was "excusable" is a whole other issue. I need to prove everything! From a doctor's note to a pamphlet from a funeral I attended, it's too much. If I have a fever, I am not going to immediately run to the emergency room, but I'm also not going to go to class either. Proving that you were absent for a reason that the university finds acceptable is ridiculous and more complicated than it needs to be.

Some classes are a waste of my time.

I'm talking about the teachers that stand up there reading the PowerPoints they posted online. The teachers that go on meaningless rants and get completely off-topic during class. The teachers that just don't teach in a way that is best for me. Those are the classes where I don't feel it is a necessity to attend class every time.

If you are just going to read slides that I have access to, then why do I have to be there? If I can take notes in my room or teach myself the material better than the teacher, then why do I have to come?

I'm not trying to say that me not learning the best in class is the teacher's fault. There are some teaching methods that I know don't work for me and that's okay. I just wish my grade wasn't going to suffer from it.

Overall, I wish professors understood what it was like to be a college student these days.

Being a college student is hard, people. There is a lot going on and there is a lot that us college students are responsible for. Some of us are working, running clubs, on sporting teams, taking care of our family, and so much more. Every student is different and every student has a different life outside of class. Life doesn't stop and sometimes class is not the most important thing.

I wish my only responsibility in life right now was just focusing on school, but it's not that simple. I just wish that attendance wasn't something else I had to worry about.

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