7 Things To Have In Your Dorm With A Limited Meal Plan

7 Things To Have In Your Dorm With A Limited Meal Plan

Now you won't starve!
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My freshman year, I had an unlimited meal plan. It was awesome. There was never any worry that I would be hungry or have to scavenge for food. My dorm was also the closest out of all housing to the dining hall. I was hungry for a snack? I could just walk two minutes to the DH to get a cookie. I wanted a cup of coffee without wasting a kcup? Again, a two minute walk to the DH. I’m starting my sophomore year, and my meal plan has been reduced to 190 swipes per semester. No more swiping in just to get some coffee or a cookie. Additionally, my room is much farther away from any source of food. So here are a few things that you’ll definitely need if you can’t rely on your dining hall for unlimited food anymore.

1. A microwave

2. A fridge

If you didn’t have these your freshman year, what were you doing? Definitely get these two things because they aren’t that expensive and you’ll definitely need them to store and heat up your leftovers. At my school, each room is provided with a micro-fridge complex. But these two things are definitely must-haves!

3. A Nutribullet

Or any other kind of blender. You may think this is unnecessary, and maybe it is for you, but making breakfast smoothies is a cheap and easy alternative to swiping in at your dining hall. Just go buy a bag or two of frozen fruit and kale or spinach to make easy breakfast smoothies that will actually fill you up.

4. A Crockpot

They’re cheap, small, and easy to store. With a little help from Pinterest, you can find some easy and cheap recipes that will make eating in your dorm more fun and enjoyable. My personal favorite is Ranch Chicken Tacos!

5. A mini George Forman grill

This is something that I haven’t personally used in my dorm…yet. But they are fairly inexpensive if you opt to buy a cheap one. Also, grilling food isn’t too unhealthy for you, and can be fairly cheap. You had more options to branch out from what your dining hall usually serves. Grill up some shrimp or something that you really enjoy! Seafood skewers sound pretty good.

6. A Brita water pitcher

Staying hydrated is so important in college and you shouldn’t limit your water consumption to when you find a water fountain. Keeping a Brita in your fridge will allow you to stay hydrated and give you water in a more convenient way.

7. Ice-cube trays

Although you do have a fridge, sometimes it can be hard to fit everything in there. So in the case that you can’t fit all your drinks in your fridge. Ice cube trays don’t take up too much space in your freezer and you can keep things like 2-liters and your Brita pitcher outside the fridge to make room for more vital things.

No matter what you choose to keep in your dorm, if there’s anything you find yourself needing, it’s only a quick trip to Target away! Even if you feel like you’re starving without an unlimited meal plan, you’ll now be able to have more versatile options.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...

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In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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