Why College Students Should Be Cooking

Why College Students Should Be Cooking

Is it really possible, or worth it?
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As college students, can we really cook while we attend school? Do we have space, time, or energy? And besides, why would we even try? What is the point in cooking when we can make a simple trip down to the dining hall or to the nearby café, likely already paid for by our food plan.

Cooking is something that many college students simply don't do. When they go home on breaks and on the occasional weekend, you may help out with the family meals, but that is pretty much it. In college, we just walk to the dining hall, swipe our cards and grab some food. Now, this is great. I do it every single day. I love the dining halls and on and off-campus cafes just as much as the next college student. These offer us quick, efficient, and usually good and affordable meals on a daily basis pretty much whenever we want it. For our busy lives as students, balancing school work, clubs, and friends, this can be a huge help. Having to buy and prepare our own foods would be a problem. However, it is possible to find time for cooking, and its benefits are numerous from social benefit to relaxation to health and more.

Some of you out there may be saying, "Wait, I live off campus, don't have a dining hall plan, and have to buy all of my food!" Yes, for some college students, they do indeed buy and prepare their own food. However, there is a difference between buying and preparing.

These are two different things. Just because you don't have a dining hall to go to and have to go buy your own food doesn't mean you cook. Many people I know that live off campus simply go out to eat more often or buy foods that don't really require cooking like cans, cereals, etc. This doesn't really count in my opinion.

Before I show you how you can find time, resources, and such to cook in college I must address why it is important to do so. Why cook? What's the point? Cooking, in my opinion, has a multitude of benefits. You could make a google search right now and find countless articles, both scientific and opinionated about the benefits of cooking. I will just share my opinion.

Cooking connects you to your food. For me, when I cook, I feel that I am truly a part of the process of living, so to speak. It makes you more conscious about what you are eating and can cause you to eat healthier. For me, when I'm just eating out or grabbing food in the dining hall it is easy to not pay attention to how much you are eating or what the quality of food is.

When you cook, you can focus on every aspect of the eating process. You can pay attention when you are finding recipes, searching for ones that have the simplest, most natural ingredients which sound the best to you. Then, when shopping, you will have the ability to pick and choose what foods and ingredients you want. You can select the best and most natural ingredients, within your budget of course.

Even within types of ingredients, such as vegetables versus dairy or whatever, you can choose. You can look at the vegetables, for example, and pick the very best ones. This selection just isn't possible if you aren't preparing your own foods. When cooking, you can choose how much of each ingredient and what you want to cook.

You can make foods taste better! By accounting for your personal flavor preferences you can pick and choose the quantity of ingredients and spices you include when preparing your foods. If you are trying to lose weight or improve your diet in general, you can make small and large adjustments in what you are cooking and how you are cooking it to improve upon your goal achievement.

In addition, cooking allows for more social engagement. You can invite your friends or significant other over to prepare and partake in a meal. Eating meals is central to human society and human development since the beginning of our times.

Go ask an anthropologist if you don't believe me! You can truly connect with people when you cook and enjoy a meal with them. You will find this much more engaging and enjoyable than simply walking to the dining hall with them and swiping a card. It's a process and one that can enhance our relationships. The same might not be said for when we have to clean up afterwards!

Also, cooking can help relax us. It is such a natural human thing to do. It forces us to take time out of our day to focus on something healthy and enjoyable. For half an hour or an hour, we put aside our stresses of school and life and can focus on something good for us. This is incredibly helpful for you if you are a stressed out college student.

But I don't have the time!

Ah yes, nobody has time. We are all busy and dining halls, to their credit, are quick. We go to class, do homework, work at jobs, and much else. You are right, there won't always be time. You can't cook every day maybe. (If you can, awesome!) But there are ways you can strive to find time. First, like with anything, you need to just make time.

Devote an hour every day or on certain days of the week to just cook a meal. You can also cook for the rest of the week. With a quick google search, you can find numerous recipes for meals you can make ahead of time. Only have time on Sunday? No problem, if you make meals ahead of time. In addition, it doesn't always have to be dinner that you cook for, although this is often the easiest.

You could always try to wake up just a little earlier and prepare a nice breakfast. This not only will be enjoyable and beneficial for the reasons already mentioned but will give your day a better jumpstart than usual. Or, you could even make lunch if you have the time. My point is simply that you should try to find time, not that you always will. Homework and school are still more important. If social time is getting in your way, you could change that social time to be a meal in instead of eating out.

Now if you are like many college students, you live on campus and don't have a kitchen at your disposal necessarily. For you, lots of this may not apply. However, don't let this stop you. Many schools have small dormitory kitchens that you could share with your hall and make use of. If you have a friend that lives in an apartment off campus, you could offer to cook for them one day a week.

Finding ways won't always be possible, but I would encourage you to look for opportunities.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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7 Reasons Starbucks' Coffee Is 100 Percent Superior To Dunkin Donuts Coffee

Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?

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There has been this controversial debate on whether Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts is the better option when it comes to getting one of the best coffees. As a lover of the White Chocolate Mocha, I can not begin to fathom how someone would be willing to go to Starbucks' competitor, Dunkin Donuts. Here are 5 reasons why you should kick Dunkin Donuts to the curb and let Starbucks into your life!

Study Spot

What better place is there to study than Starbucks! The comfy couches allow you to relax and do your homework peacefully.

The Holiday cups

During the Christmas season, Starbucks comes out with creative cups design for the most wonderful time of the year!

Frappuccinos> Coolatta

Frappuccinos definitely rule over the Coolattas that Dunkin provides.

More menu options

Starbucks provides way more coffee drinks than Dunkin. And the best part is that you can customize your own coffee/latte/tea. Anything you name, Starbucks has it.

The Lactose intolerants are certainly welcomed at Starbucks!

One of my friends is Lactose intolerant and she tells me that Starbucks has dairy-free options.

Best food quantity

Does Dunkin Donuts sell cake pops? I don't think so.

BEST Quality Coffee

Starbucks has the top quality coffees and lets be honest Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes burnt

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