21 Surprisingly Appetizing Meals You Can Make In Your 130-Square-Foot Dorm

21 Surprisingly Appetizing Meals You Can Make In Your 130-Square-Foot Dorm

Avoid the freshman 15 and develop skills to propel you into adulthood at the same time!


Starting college is hard and it's even harder if you're used to your parents making home-cooked meals for you. The adjustment to a meal plan can either be the first time you've experienced the freedom to eat what you want (hello freshman 15) or it can become nauseatingly familiar after the first couple of weeks.

Regardless of where you stand with the dining hall and meal plans, it's important to be able to make food on your own for the times when you can't (or shouldn't) be eating pizza for the third time that day. Here are 21 foods that are delicious and easy to make, even if your dorm space is extremely limited.

All these recipes were saved on my Pinterest so not to toot my own horn but follow me if you want more food-related ideas.

1. Chili

Grab a crock pot, toss everything into it, and let it sit all day. Perfect for bringing to a Super Bowl party or for warming up on cold winter days. Check out some recipes here.

2. Mac and Cheese

While it's best on the stove, it can also be made in the microwave. Pop it in a microwave-safe bowl with just enough water to cover the pasta and stir with a fork every 2 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Then don't drain the water and add milk, butter, and the cheese packet. For even tastier mac and cheese, add fresh ingredients. My favorite is ham, peas, and breadcrumbs.

Bonus points if you offer your roommate some of it. They may forgive you for leaving your clothes all over the floor and, let's be real, boxes of mac and cheese are big enough for two.

3. Grilled cheese

The number 1 reason I chose to get a waffle iron freshman year was to make grilled cheese. Add whatever ingredients you want but make sure to spray the waffle iron well so that your sandwich doesn't stick to it.

Bonus points: get the microwavable tomato soup to dip your sandwich in.

4. Waffles

Once you have a waffle iron, it's also worth making waffles once in a while. Eat them with chicken tenders from the dining hall for quick chicken and waffles or add any other ingredients for a fun spin off the traditional breakfast. If all else fails, buy butter and syrup and eat them the old-fashioned way.

5. Cinnamon rolls

While we're on the topic of waffle irons, grab some cinnamon rolls from the roll and pop them in the waffle iron to warm them up before drizzling frosting on them.

(You can also make cookies by popping cookie dough on the iron and waiting for it to cook a bit)

Check out this Buzzfeed link for 2 more waffle recipes. I'm done with the waffle iron now I swear.

6. Smoothies

Got to get your veggies in somehow, don't you? Snag some kale from the salad bar in the dining hall and mix it with berries, yogurt, and orange juice for an on-the-go Vitamin C boost.

I got this personal-size blender with a bottle I can take with me from Amazon and I love it.

7. Overnight oats

Instant oats, milk, yogurt, fruit, and anything else you want to add, these overnight oats are so easy to make and grab on your way out in the morning.

8. Breakfast sandwiches

This summer I made four of these at once and then stuck them in the freezer and pulled them out on days when I was running out to go to class. They're even easy to make if you don't have access to a stove because you can cook the eggs in the microwave. Recipe here!

9. Energy balls

For on-the-go breakfast or a quick afternoon snack, these energy balls are perfect and easy to make. Plus there's no oven required.

Learn how to make these 7 using this link.

10. Crock pot lasagna

For those days when dining hall spaghetti just won't cut it. Recipe here.

11. Deconstructed tacos

Add whatever you want to the basic recipe and take it with you wherever you go.

12. Stuffed avocados

Many stuffed avocado recipes require baking but here's one that doesn't if you don't have access to an oven. An avocado is a delicious source of protein that can also serve as a boat for carrying a variety of ingredients.

13. Pizza bagels

Who needs an oven when you have a microwave? Check out this and other microwave meals at HerCampus

14. Chicken pot pie

For more meals in mugs (including the cheeseburger in the cover photo), check out this Refinery29 article.

15. Chicken fried rice

Grab a frozen packet of fried rice from the grocery store, heat it up in the microwave, and add shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken or from the dining hall. You can also substitute shrimp, beef, or keep it vegetarian. Quick, easy Chinese food.

(Also, frozen dumplings can be heated in the microwave to complete the meal.)

16. Quesadillas

Add a protein and some vegetables for a yummy meal that's nowhere near as greasy as the dining hall version

17. French toast

Add an egg or some meat for an extra protein boost. Instructions here.

18. Butternut squash risotto

A meal your mother would be proud of you for making. Check out this and more dorm meals over on Buzzfeed.

19. Better ramen

Please don't eat cup of noodles and just make this for yourself instead. Full recipe here.

20. Microwave enchiladas

Make everyone on your floor jealous with this recipe. Plus they're gluten free!

21. Salad

Plus if all else fails, you can always just toss a bunch of ingredients on a salad. Here are 15 different options for chopped salads that are easy to make!

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10 Ways College Is 100% NOTHING Like High School

Once-a-day showers go to dry shampoo for four days straight.


As a college freshman well into their second semester, it has officially occurred to me just how different, and often times better, college is compared to its predecessor, high school.

Here are just 10 ways the two could not be MORE different:

1. How you sleep

You'll go from waking up three hours before school to three minutes before class

2. How you hygiene

Once-a-day showers develop into dry shampoo for four days straight.

3. How you eat

Pizza goes from a once-in-a-while treat to an everyday food group.

4. How you socialize

You'll go from being nice to everyone to disliking people for no reason.

5. How much effort you put into your appearance

High school contour was on fleek and now there's somehow mascara on your forehead.

6. How you nap

Naps go from two hours to 10 minutes.

7. How you operate heavy machinery

Driving goes from 10 and 2 with perfectly lined up mirrors to driving with your knees and eating a taco.

8. Your classmates

High school classes are with all of your friends and college classes have strangers in them almost every day.

9. The people teaching you things

High school teachers are scary and mean, while college professors become your friends.

10. Textbooks

High school textbooks are provided where college textbooks need to be bought with another student loan.

Cover Image Credit: Instargram//Madsbythesea

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I'm About To Burst, Laughing At The People Who Thought My Pregnancy Meant I Had To Drop Out Of College

I get stared at in the halls and asked if I am going to drop out. Here are ways being a pregnant student has changed my college experience.


I have been pregnant the entire time that I have been in graduate school. It was not how I planned to experience grad school, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective and will give me a lovely son (seriously, any second now). There are certain things that I did not realize about being a pregnant student until I experienced it, and maybe my experiences can help better prepare other women, or give them something to relate to since pregnant students are such a rare breed.

As a grad student and a 25-year-old, I am around the average age to have my first child in America. I am not dependent on my parents and the world does not treat me like a child anymore.

However, since I decided to pursue my master's degree, I feel that people are not used to seeing pregnant and student in the same sentence without gasping.

When I first told my father, his first reaction was to ask me if I was to going to drop out.

This became a recurrent reaction from my family and friends (which my boyfriend who is also a student was never asked once). I did not expect the hesitant reactions and it made me feel shameful to be a pregnant student. As my expecting belly grew I always noticed that people on campus would stare at my stomach.

As I walked past, their eyes followed my belly like I had a giant red felt "A" on my chest.

None of my classmates are pregnant and thinking back, I can't remember ever seeing a pregnant woman in all of my five years of college. Since none of my classmates were pregnant, I felt like I had no one to relate to. There are a lot of things that pregnancy effects, besides the baby in the tummy part. I could not go out and get drinks with my classmates and bond with them the way that they were all doing. I could not relate to them fashionably because maternity clothes are heinous. I also feel like pregnancy put up a barrier because I would have a baby eventually and will always be busy, so why bother?

Pregnancy side effects would sometimes take a toll on my school work. In the first trimester, I could barely get out of bed because I was so tired. I could easily have slept 14 hours straight and being a working student did not help. I would seep through some of my classes and had to take the hit to my attendance points. I also have "pregnancy brain." Pregnancy brain is a real thing and is not well known enough. My mind can be so scattered that I forget my friend's names while I am speaking to them. I think it is October when it is March. Pregnancy brain has made me forget that I even go to school or that I work in twenty minutes. I missed due dates or completely misread instructions on assignments. For someone who needs A's on every assignment to function, it hurt because I would never make that mistake otherwise.

There are also benefits to being a pregnant student. I am never hungover and I have never been tempted to ditch a night class for a drinking holiday.

Pregnancy has allowed me to prioritize my school work and ignore the college lifestyle.

Before I knew I was pregnant, I went with my roommates to bars in Chicago's Lincoln Park. I feel so happy knowing getting wasted from $3 shots on a Wednesday is behind me. I now truly have nothing better to do at night than complete my homework.

Another benefit is that you sometimes get special treatment. The special treatment that pregnant women get is awesome. It is my favorite part and sometimes makes me wish I could be pregnant forever. People feel obligated to wait on me hand and foot. If I drop something, people rush to pick it up. It is completely not necessary but I get to feel like a princess for a day (or 280 days). Even though I was singled out for being the only pregnant woman, I was always treated especially nicely by students and professors.

Regardless of my friends and family expecting me to drop out, I am doing phenomenal in grad school. I have received A's in every class and have loved all of my classes. Being a pregnant student can be tough, but it is totally doable. If you find yourself to be a pregnant student, don't feel discouraged. It is not ruining your college experience but allowing you to do college differently.

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