Getting Crafty Eating Outside of the Dorm
Why do students want to explore options outside the dining hall?
Maybe you miss your family’s traditional comfort foods, maybe you’ve seen a shift in your gut health since at the start of the school year, or maybe you just really want to add to your list of recipes to try. Whatever the case might be, there are some great options to explore outside the dining halls.
Tips/ideas for getting crafty with what you have
Luckily Missouri State doesn’t leave us stranded, and we do have the student union that gives a handful of options for some of our favorite fast food chains. The Plaster Student Union offers a quick and convenient option for those of us that are on the go or those who are craving some fries and frozen custard. All dorms are also equipped with a community kitchen if you wish to try out some cooking of your own. One way to get crafty if you crave adventure is to utilize the gadgets the dining halls provide. Some of my favorites are the panini press machine, toaster, microwave, and the mini pancake maker. On Fridays when my friend and I didn’t have a class immediately following our trip to the dining hall, we would explore our abilities at the panini machine, and we began to call ourselves experts in the field. The small convenience stores on campus (located in the PSU, Hammons House, and Bear Park South) are all great resources if you are looking for a quick frozen meal to pop in the microwave for a night in. Missouri State is continuing to add services to our campus to provide alternative options, and I highly encourage everyone to try them out.
The benefit of friends
One way I have found to get the taste of homemade food I had long missed was by making friends with peers older than me. Through organization involvement, I have gained some amazing friends who have the resources to cook in the comfort of their homes. What I like to do is split the cost, or help clean while conversing with these friends. It is a great way to spend time together, and eat a good meal, and I always walk away having learned something new. Another option is to find a friend you can meal prep with. I personally haven’t done this, but I know others who enjoy cooking together and splitting the proportions to serve each other throughout the week. Next time you make plans with a friend who has a kitchen, maybe ask if they would like to cook together as an activity!
The very last tip I have for getting crafty outside the walls of the dorm is couponing. Grocery shopping can be daunting as a college student especially when you are budgeting so going in with a few coupons helps guide you. I would pick out the free newspaper in the lobby of my dorm and cut out any coupons that appealed to me and my roommates, and we would use them throughout the week to add a change in routine while not spending too much to do so. Using this technique got me out of the dorm gave me experience shopping for food as a single person and not for a whole family, and gave me the responsibility I was longing for.
I would be lying if I said I don’t miss the dining hall at times. It truly is a convenience to walk down to the dining hall and have a meal ready especially now that I am in charge of feeding myself throughout the week. However, I was a freshman too, and I know that sometimes eating in the dining hall is the last thing you want to do and so I hope I’ve sparked some creativity through this post.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
(Bio: My name is Aubrey Hardy, a sophomore studying special needs education. Fun fact: I grew up on a farm.)