Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Opinion | Time for adulting: Learn to cook

CW Archive

The bright lights of a Chick-fil-A sign beckon as you walk across campus. The Raising Canes right across the street from your dorm is oh-so-tempting. Wouldn’t it be nice to browse the variety of options at a campus dining hall? After a long day in class, these can become the only thoughts occupying your mind. Your best option, though? Learn to cook. 

If you’re anything like me, your stomach can be very convincing. Those Dining Dollars are just so easy to spend. However, there’s a whole semester ahead of you. Eating the same meals day after day can grow tiring. What seems like a wide array of options will grow progressively narrower. 

Though it may sound intimidating, all of the tools to cook your own meals in college are at your disposal. The first step is simply starting. Instead of spending on fast food, try buying your own produce and ingredients for a healthy meal. 

The local Publix is within walking distance of campus for those who don’t have a car. For those who do, Target is just a 3-mile drive away. 

A quick search on Google or Pinterest reveals many quick and easy recipes you can make in a dorm. You can find anything from soups to tacos to sandwiches, all with relatively cheap ingredients and simple instructions.

While you may not have access to an oven in your dorm, most residence halls on campus contain community kitchens supplied with two ovens, a microwave and a refrigerator. They are rarely busy, as cooking is still a new skill for many. 

However, it is a vital one. You won’t always have a meal plan to rely on, so it’s best to learn now before it becomes a necessity, not only for the long-term benefits, but for the imminent ones as well. Depending on your meal plan, you may have only 55-90 dining hall meals a semester.

It’s important to learn how to ration these so they will last throughout the year. It’s also nice to have a home-cooked meal every once in a while instead of eating solely at buffet-style campus options. 

Besides dining halls, campus is host to several other dining locations such as chain restaurants. While options such as Wendy’s and Pizza Hut may seem appealing, eating them day after day can start depleting you of important nutrients. 

From class to clubs, volunteering to research, you’ll need the energy and nutrition you can only get from a balanced diet. Cooking your own meals is a fantastic way to ensure you’re getting the proper nourishment to support your busy schedule. 

On a different note, we all know that food brings people together, and I have experienced this myself. One memory in particular was helping to cook a meal of oven-baked chicken, potato wedges and rice with others in our community kitchen. The simple components formed a delightful dish and an even more delightful night. 

College is a time in your life for trying new things and being open to different experiences. It’s also a time when we all learn how to do the whole “adulting” thing. Accomplish both by adding a brand new skill to your toolbox. While it may not show up on your resume, you won’t ever regret learning to cook. 

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