After living in the residence halls your first year, you have the option of continuing a meal plan or doing it all yourself (or a convenient combination of both). I chose to cook for myself because it’s a skill you’ll need your whole life. I grew up having fun baking for family and making the occasional pancake, but there are definitely ups and downs to real cooking.
One of the best things is that you get to eat whatever you want which is nice when you are a picky eater like myself. Sometimes I just need a particular food, so being able to make that food is really nice overall. I have complete control over what I eat, not even my mom can tell me what to eat (like not eating popcorn for dinner).
That being said, it can also be hard to cook for one person. I’m not sure if you’ve tried to buy things like meat and milk, but they tend to come in rather large potions that can probably take you a week to finish by yourself. I have remedied this issue with a little help from my friends, we have a really cool communal setup for our meals where we rotate who cooks and sometimes we even share ingredients. Not only does that take the burden of cooking off of you a couple nights a week, but it also exposes you to a lot of cuisines that you may not know how to make yourself. I am lucky to cook with people who can make amazing Korean and Swiss food, so it’s almost like I’m not missing out on the food diversity of the C4C at all!
Another great thing about cooking at home is that it’s a nice activity to bond with others or even just meditate over. Some of my favorite college memories have been teaching my friends how to cook a dish authentic to my cultures or sharing the food itself with them. This year, I have also been taking time for myself to cook and learn how to make new dishes that I saw my grandparents making over the years. Overall, cooking has been a really great experience for me over the years and I hope cooking in college is nice for you too! If not, don’t be ashamed to keep your meal plan because on-campus food is great too.