Meal Plans vs. Cooking: The Ultimate College Dilemma


Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.22.26 AM The start of junior year triggers an emotional response similar to the one that we gals feel when it’s “that time of the month.” It happens suddenly, and we’re not sure if we should celebrate or cry.

It’s exciting — we feel like we’ve figured this whole “college” thing out. Most of our core requirements are out of the way and our classes now end in “405” instead of “101,” which is pretty fucking terrifying. As we gradually ease our way into adulthood, we gain a sense of freedom. And thank God, we finally break free of the chains we’ve known as “campus housing.”

Granted, there are some things about college dorms that I miss. I long for public bathrooms and awkward encounters with the guy I hooked up with the night before on my way to the shower, in my towel. Let’s call him towel-Tim. “Catch ya later Tim!” Oy.

And of course, who could forget my dear friend, the dining hall?

In all seriousness, sometimes I really do miss the dining hall. I know that’s severely messed up and I deserve to be shunned, but I do. It was just so easy. It required absolutely no effort or brain activity on my part — no planning meals, no grocery shopping. All I had to do was show up, and that somewhat (definitely) questionable burnt chicken was waiting for me. The dining hall was basically my bitch.

This year I arrived at school and realized I have literally no idea how to cook for myself. There were two plays in my cooking playbook. My first was to throw a sweet potato in the microwave, and as far as I was concerned, Martha Stewart and I were on the same level. My other was to spread peanut butter on a piece of bread and microwave it for exactly 33 seconds. This is important — 32 seconds will not melt the peanut butter enough, and if you’re going to try for 34 you’re a fucking lunatic and belong in a mental institution.

I soon realized this could only last me so long, so I learned the tricks of the trade. The key is to start off with small changes — you’re not going to become a culinary genius overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day, people.

Find a few recipes or foods you really like and master them. I randomly discovered I have a passion for zucchini. Turns out, you can make almost every other vegetable the same way you make zucchini. The next time I went food shopping, I basically bought Price Chopper’s entire supply of squash and mushrooms. Those vegetables didn’t stand a chance. R.I.P.

We’ve all got different skills and talents. Some of us are great cooks, and some of us are great at being bad cooks. And that, my friends, is why God invented Special K.

It’s okay to be bad. In fact, be bad and own it. Miley certainly did and it’s “working” for her. Right?

Real TalkLianna HurshComment