Image from Spoon University

Going off to college and living in a dorm can be a great experience. That being said, one thing that can be a bit of adjustment is eating in college. Regardless of if your dining halls/cafeterias are amazing or terrible (or somewhere in between), you will reach a time where you just want to make your own food. Have no fear, TP is here! I have compiled a list of tips, tricks, recipes, and general resources (in the form of videos, tips, and websites) for being able to successful cook in a college no matter your resources.


There are actually lots of awesome videos that show you fun ideas for how to mix things up in college. Here are a few of the best of them!


Jessamine Griewahn-Okita of Smith College emphasizes the importance of buying microwavable form. She says “Get the fish sticks that can be done in the microwave. Only buy food that can be microwaved.”

Allison Esquen-Roca of The College of William and Mary has a great approach to a simple and delicious recipe if you have access to basic cooking supplies. She suggests “ I actually really like making pasta, coating it with egg, and frying it all, with some salt for taste! It’s my favorite recipe and, at most, it takes 15 minutes.”

TP writer Christine Fulgham suggests using an electric kettle to do more than just make tea. She recommends also using them to make oatmeal and ramen.

Sophia Spackova of USC thinks blenders and microwaves are the way to go. She says “Buy a blender and a microwave safe bowl, you can make pasta in the microwave and pasta sauce in the blender.”

I personally recommend trying to stock up on inexpensive food that can be easy to make and modify such as oatmeal and also only buying fresh food/produce when you know you will eat then quickly (you don’t want to have to throw away expired food). I also am a big fan of foods that come in single-portion servings (then you don’t have to worry about leftovers) but you should know that they can end up being substantially more expensive.


There are also lots of great websites that provide resources for students. These range from lists that will provide awesome inspiration to websites with countless ideas. The lists (such as the one from BuzzFeed) are a great option when you are feeling lazy and want to find something yummy to make, while websites like Spoon University are amazing when you are willing to spend some time finding the perfect college recipes Here are some of my favorite resources in the form of websites.

Hopefully all of these resources can help. It might seem overwhelming to attempt cooking in college but hopefully these resources will help. The goal of these is to provide a range of options, so that you will have great affordable options regardless of if you want the occasional snack or nightly dinners.

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the author

Samantha Linder is a sophomore at Smith College where she is double majoring in neuroscience and art history. Samantha's favorite words include hippocampus, logorrhea, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

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