The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The school year is in full swing, and this means the highs and lows of dorm living are back and better than ever. Residing in a dorm during your college years can give you the life experience and friendships you never knew you needed, but simultaneously make you want to punch your roommates in the face. There are many things you can’t control about dorm living, but also many that you can conquer for a fantastic year. One of my personal favorites is…
The mini-fridge. Conquer your mini-fridge!!
At the University of South Carolina, we are lucky to partner with the MicroFridge company, allowing residents to rent or buy a combined microwave and fridge/freezer that is both dorm-safe and reliable. There is just something about having the whole appliance delivered pre-move into my third floor (no elevator) building that just sweetens the deal.
Stocking your mini-fridge correctly can be the key to your college success. My late-night studying relies on caffeine, like many other sleep-deprived students. As grateful as I am for the Thomas Cooper Library Starbucks being open later than many locations, I am still a broke college kid balling on a budget, so having the ability to make a coffee in my dorm is a necessity. Whether you stock your mini-fridge with cold brew (a personal favorite of mine is the Stok Bright & Mellow blend), creamer (the Starbucks Caramel Creamer is a must), or milk/milk substitute (Silk Unsweet Vanilla Almond FTW), you are fully prepared to face the consequences of your procrastination.
The next essential would of course have to be the Brita. Now, some who claim that room-temperature water satisfies their needs may disagree, but cold, crisp water is important in this brutal Columbia heat. Also, for a quick health promo: drinking more water is so important to prevent dehydration, which is important for overall immune health, therefore VERY important for college students often plagued with the “frat cough.” Having conveniently filtered water at your fingertips will make this 10x easier for my fellow lazy students.
The next mini-fridge essential would most certainly have to be breakfast foods. If you’re like me, you wake up at the last possible second before your early class and don’t leave a lot of time for food before running out the door. If I say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you all will roll your eyes. It’s true though!!! I know I’m being cliché, but it’s true!!! Having just a little bit of nutrients in my system while trying to learn has helped me so much in my early classes. Fresh fruit (when finesse-able) is a go-to of mine in the morning, either on top of protein yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal. I have recently been into the Kodiak Frozen Protein Waffles as well; a perfect fit for the freezer of my micro-fridge. They are easy, quick, nutritious, and substantial enough to get me through the difficulties of quantitative variables at 8:30 am.
Lastly, the obvious inclusion: snacks. And when I say snacks, I don’t mean the chips, popcorn, candy, or crackers type of snacks (but of course, also delicious necessities.) By snacks, I mean things that will offer you some sort of hold-over until your next trip to the dining hall. I’ll often reach for a protein bar, cheese stick, or yogurt for this purpose. If you have a Trader Joe’s near your college campus, RUN don’t walk to grab some of their Barbells protein bars in literally every flavor. My mind is still blown. My yogurt recommendation would also have to be the Strawberry Cheesecake Light + Fit Greek Yogurt: a 10/10.
On an end note, I need to make sure I say that there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to your favorite foods and treats. In my opinion, one of the best parts about life and new experiences is the food that comes with it. All I can preach is balance, and eating what makes you feel good, both mentally and physically. With that, happy dorm chef-ing and mini-fridge conquering.