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5 Life-Hacks: Cooking in College

If you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that it’s pretty hard to transition from having decent meals provided for you three times a day to suddenly having to worry about feeding yourself, along with all the other stresses of college. I thought life was hard when all I had to worry about were AP tests and staying on top of my school work, but it turns out school work + learning to function as a human adult for the first time = infinite stress and chaos. Living on your own means cooking for yourself, and soon you’ll realize that recreating your mom’s famous dinners every weeknight is a lot less realistic than giving up and ordering pizza. But remember, baby steps are necessary in this situation, so we have five tips for feeding yourself in this weird and stressful period of your life.

1. Frozen fruit

Fresh fruit doesn’t last very long, and you’ll be cursing yourself as you throw away uneaten strawberries every weekend. You’re trying to eat healthy, but somehow those berries slipped your mind for the few days they were actually edible! It’s a good idea to try buying frozen fruit as well. First of all, it lasts a lot longer in the freezer, and it can be blended into delicious smoothies that taste awesome and make you feel better about yourself for consuming something other than pizza and coffee that day.

2. Salads

You can seriously make a salad out of just about anything. There’ve been many nights where I’ve literally thrown most of the contents of my fridge into a bowl with dressing and called it salad. Most weeknights, its hard to find time to prepare a cooked meal, so when you’re at the super market pick up a pack of lettuce, a bottle of your favorite dressing and anything else you find delicious and throw it all together on those nights you don’t have time to cook.

3. Crock-Pot

A Crock-Pot is a great addition to the kitchen of any college student. If you do want that yummy home cooked meal when you come home from class, you can stick whatever meat you want in it beforehand and come home to a tasty smelling kitchen and a meal that reminds you of home. Some of my favorite things to make in a Crock-Pot are taco meat and pulled pork.

4. Paninis

Anyone can throw together a sandwich in five seconds right? But if you feel a little sad just eating a plain turkey and cheese for your dinner, I’d suggest frying it up or sticking it in a George Foreman grill, and you’ll feel a little better with your toasty warm Panini as you study at the kitchen table. It’s a great way to spice up a regular old sandwich!

5. Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast food is generally pretty simple to prepare, and most students have experience making eggs or pancakes. Breakfast for dinner is a fun and pretty easy option. Just scramble some eggs, fry a sausage, sprinkle some cheese and roll it all into a tortilla and boom, there’s your dinner. Plus it always feels kind of fun and like a special treat to eat breakfast food at night, so there’s that too.

Hi! I'm Melanie VandenBerghe. I'm a second year english major at Cal Poly with a passion for literature, art, and film. In addition to writing for Her Campus, I serve on the executive board of the Cal Poly English Club and am an active member of Greek Life. In my free time I enjoy netflix, good food, and occasionally going outside.