Student Life

Dorm Room Dining 101

While it might not seem like it could logistically work, especially when you’re only allowed to have a microwave and a mini-fridge, there are actually some things you can cook in your dorm room.

While your options may seem limited, there are actually quite a few things you can cook in your dorm room.  Here’s a list of a few suggestions:

  • Ramen noodles (these will be your best friend)
  • Frozen dinners
  • Frozen pizza
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Eggs (they actually make microwavable dishes that can cook eggs for you in the microwave)
  • Hot dogs
  • Popcorn
  • Frozen or fresh vegetables
  • Hot breakfast cereals
  • Russet and sweet potatoes
  • Rice

Photo from ecampustours.com

Those are only just a few.

However, when it comes to cooking in your dorm room, there are some things to keep in mind.  The first is to avoid washing dishes in the bathroom sinks.  Instead you should try to find another sink away from bacteria and harmful chemicals.  You should also keep in mind that you will need microwave safe plates and Tupperware to cook in your dorm room.  You should be sure to check to make sure that the plates, cups, bowls, and Tupperware you do use specifically says that they are microwave safe.  For when it doubt, don’t use it in the microwave.

Another thing to keep in mind is the simplicity of recipes.  In an article by Kristin Stewart (not Kristen Stewart of the Twilight movies) called “Chew on this!  Tips on dorm room cooking,” she suggests choosing recipes with five ingredients or less, as it will not only save you space in your dorm room, but it will also save you money.  She also suggests keeping pasta, oatmeal, milk, sugar, eggs, olive oil, frozen fruits and vegetables, cheese, popcorn, and canned soups on hand, just in case.  Having at least one plate, one bowl, one mug, a drinking cup, a sharp knife, a can opener, a corkscrew, and utensils wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Stewart also suggests asking your roommate(s) about the food that they are sensitive to, either because of allergies or smell.  You want to make sure that you aren’t creating strong odors in your dorm room that your roommate(s) can’t handle.

Overall, you aren’t actually that limited when it comes to dorm room cooking; all you need to remembers is to keep it simple and you’ll be golden when the dining halls close.

Other References
“Healthy Microwavable Food” by Sara Ipatenco

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Student Life

Tips for Adjusting to College Life

For many incoming freshmen, college can seem very scary.  You are suddenly given greater independence, but with that comes a lot of new experiences and responsibilities you’ve never had to experience before.  Before you head to school in the September, you may be wondering how you’ll ever adjust to all of this.  You’re certainly not alone; at JumpOffCampus, we certainly remember that feeling.  This is why we’ve put together some tips to help make your transition to college a little bit easier.

Don’t expect all the comforts of home when you move into your dorm.  In an article we read by Cristiana Quinn at GoLocalProv, she explains that while living in the dorm is a great experience, you can’t expect all the comforts that you might get at home.  For starters, you most likely won’t have your own room.  This means that you’ll be sharing a room with at least one other person.  As we’ve mentioned in some of our previous posts, you have to make sure that you are conscious of that and you’re considerate of your roommate(s).

You also can’t expect to spend all your getting ready in the bathroom in the morning.  If you have a shared bathroom with 3 or 4 other people, you need to be considerate of their schedules as well.  This means not taking long showers in the morning or hogging the bathroom.  Be aware that maybe others have a similar schedule as you and will have to be getting ready at the same time.   The best thing to do is to find out everyone’s schedules and schedule shower times.

Stay on campus.  In an article we read at University-College.net, they explain that one of the biggest issues freshmen have is staying on campus (especially on the weekends).  As we mentioned before, your dorm room is not going to have all the comforts of home that you may be used to.    However, it’s important to stay on campus to stay connected to campus activities and events.  This also gives you more time to make connections with new friends and foster new friendships.

Keep looking on the bright side.  According to the article at University-College.net, it’s important to keep a positive attitude when you’re adjusting to life in college.  While it seems like your entire life has been completely turned upside down, the important thing is to not get bogged down by a fear of this change.  You need to stay positive and embrace this change, because if you do, college really can be one of the greatest times in your life.

Make new friends.  For many freshmen, there can be a great temptation to stay connected to only those friends who you knew from high school.  While those relationships should still be important to you, it can really hurt you should you choose to avoid meeting new people.  This is because you’re other  high school friends will continue to go on to meet new people, but you won’t.  You start feeling left out if they are always hanging out with their new friends and you’re left alone.  The best thing is to meet people in your class, join a student group or organization and get more involved on campus.  Even the shyest of people can meet others this way.

Stay focused.  It’s important to stay focused, despite having all this newfound freedom.  It can be tempting to go to every party or hang out with your friends every weeknight.  However, you have to make sure that you balance your social life and your academic one.  Remember that you’re at college to learn, which means that you have to stay up on your homework, assignments, and reading to stay in college.

While going away to college can be intimidating, we hope that by following these tips it will make your transition just a little bit easier.  Just remember to that this is your experience and that no one else can determine what your college experience will be; you’ll have to do that on your own.  In this way college can really be a great experience that you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.

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