One of my biggest fears the second I arrived in Canada was not to be able to get anything to eat because I have no idea how to cook or enough money to buy food every day!
This might be the same case for you all who are planning to start your university journey, move out and live by yourself.
As I experienced all the stress, you don’t have to! I will give you some tips to help you prepare your own meals. Let’s give it a try:
Find out where you want to live
The campus residences provide a meal plan that you could purchase for the whole school year. That way, you don’t need to stress out on what to eat as they offer a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You could also bring a friend occasionally and treat them to a meal!
If you don’t purchase the meal plan, you could also use the communal kitchen in residence. If you decide to live off-campus, make sure that there will be a kitchen that you could use (plus a microwave).
The Microwave is your friend
I lived in Simcoe Village Residence (one of the campus residences) throughout my first year of study. There was a microwave and a refrigerator available in my room. They were useful in addition to the communal kitchen.
I only cooked several times a month then put the food in the freezer for me to eat later. I reheated the food for a minute or two in the microwave each time I wanted to eat.
You can save some time as your room may not be on the same floor as the kitchen. A rice or slow cooker could also be useful for you to cook instantly.
Find something simple and yummy
After living in the campus residence, I decided to move to an off-campus living option that provides a kitchen. At that time, the internet was my best friend and it actually still is when it comes to cooking.
I downloaded an app that let users share their recipes (feel free to choose which app you would like to use).
Here are some simple meals that I usually cook during the final exam season when I really have no time for cooking: oatmeal, pasta, and scrambled eggs.
Breakfast is very important especially if you study overnight. You just have to boil some water and make instant oatmeal! It will just take a minute or two. Pasta is similar! You just have to boil the pasta for 10 to 12 minutes.
If you want to save more time, you can buy some fresh pasta that will only need three minutes to cook. Then, you are free to choose which sauces you want for them. Adding some meatballs is a great option too!
Finally, it’s scrambled eggs. Rice is my staple food and a scrambled egg is the most convenient and comfortable food for me to eat with rice.
As you want to be as simple as possible when it comes to cooking, make sure to eat healthy to gain enough energy for you to study.
My number one rule to be healthy is “always have fruits available.” That’s the easiest way for a student to have healthy meals.
You might not have enough time to cook fresh vegetables but you could always grab a banana or an apple on the way to school. It’s very convenient and healthy at the same time.
As I am a planner, I always plan ahead for what I want to eat for the entire week. You might have limited time for cooking, so planning helps a lot!
You can cook once a week and put the food in the fridge for later. From my experience, you still can reheat most week-old food that’s kept in a refrigerator.
Those tips are my solutions to my cooking issues, but you can have your own versions! Feel free to use them to start your cooking journey as a university student.
Once you try to cook your first meal, you’ll get more ideas on what to cook each day.
Remember! Always research for recipes. That way, you can improve your cooking skills. Studying is important, but you can never study properly without the presence of comfort food!