Starting a new life on your own can be hard when you go away to college for the first time. While this might not be your specific circumstance, most college freshmen are used to a lot of things being done for them in life, whether it’s cooking or laundry. Going to college suddenly puts the ball in their court – they’re all alone and have to be a lot more independent than they used to be.
Cooking is an especially big deal. If you never learned how to fully cook a variety of meals when you were at home, you have one of two options now that you’re the head chef of your life: either cook the same meal over and over or buy pre-made food every day.
The first option gets very tedious, and it’s unhealthy in general. For as many jokes as you can make about living off of Top Ramen, it’s definitely not good for you, but neither is subsisting only on chicken salads or smoothies every day.
The second option is unhealthy and expensive. Even if you’re choosing a healthier option, like Subway, you’re still spending money on a daily basis when you could be spending cash once a week for ingredients you can live on for seven days. You’re a college student – you don’t have a lot of extra cash to throw around.
Your CBC apartment has a kitchen area, so why let it go to waste? Don’t use your oven as a textbook storage center. Let’s start making some meals in that puppy, shall we?
Start budgeting a grocery list.
You don’t have any excuses for why you can’t buy groceries. CBC even offers you a Sunday shuttle to local grocery stores, so we’re helping you find time to go shopping for necessities. If you’ve never done this before, start small with a grocery list for basic items. Bread, milk, eggs, a meat product. Write down 10 to 20 items you would need for just basic, no-brainer meals like grilled chicken or sandwiches.
Go to the grocery store and pick up your basic necessities and bring them home. You won’t have enough to make anything fancy, but start small. Learn the best way to make French toast (milk, eggs, bread, cinnamon, etc.) and how to cook meat.
Look up easy recipes.
Graduate to something a little better than basic needs. Look up easy to make recipes and go to the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients. Once you’ve got everything, try out your new recipe. Is it really as easy as it says? If not, take a step backwards – you can’t expect to make crème brulee if you can’t make pancakes, yet.
Cook with friends.
Don’t cook alone. Get motivated by finding a friend who also needs a home cooked meal and try it out together. It might sound cheesy, but just try it. Making something with a friend can be a fun experience – as well as a delicious one.
Also, test out your creations on other people. Bring lunch to a classmate you like when you find a dish you can make relatively well. This can motivate you to make more AND keep trying to get better at cooking.
Don’t freak out if you mess up.
It’s important to remember you aren’t an expert chef yet, so not everything you make will turn out well. It’s likely your mother/father/guardian wasn’t a professional either, but they learned how to cook recipes through practice and experience, as well as through family handed-down recipes.
It’s important to not give up if you burn something or make something that doesn’t taste exactly like you imagine it should. Cooking is all about practice making perfect.