If you’re like me and going to school 3,000 miles away from your hometown, you’ve probably been the victim of an “Almost Break.” You know, those breaks that are almost enough time to go home, but not enough to convince your parents to buy you a plane ticket? Currently, some of you attending religious colleges might be dealing with Easter break, which is the worst of all the “Almost Breaks.” It’s a religious holiday that, like many religious holidays, focuses more on food rather than the spiritual meaning, and in this case it’s candy.
But instead of consuming ridiculous amounts of chocolate, you’re stuck in your dorm, presumably with no roommate and minimal friends to call up and ask to hang out. Aside from spending hours scrolling through Tumblr, or checking your ex’s new girlfriend’s Instagram for the hundredth time, you’ve got one big problem in the foreseeable future: feeding yourself.
That’s right, folks. A lot of people forget that during these hated Almost Break’s, the campus all but shuts down, and that includes those lovely dining halls and on-campus eateries. Equipped with nothing but a microwave, I’m going to show you how you can feed yourself for a couple days without causing your taste buds to revolt out of boredom. (I can attest to all of these options below because I’m currently in the middle of taking my own advice.)
No, it’s not the same as adding a splash of milk and some butter to the mix, but you know what? It’s close enough. That tap water from your dorm bathroom will do just fine. Just ignore the way the plastic leaves sort of an odd odor. Also, if it explodes in your microwave, don’t wait too long to clean it up. Those noodles are stubborn once they’ve dried out. In all seriousness, Easy Mac is kind of a staple to a college career, so you should learn to embrace it especially when the dining hall isn’t available. You’re a college student and Easy Mac is an inevitable tool necessary to your survival.
Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice
The directions are easy, the portions are big, and the rice is pretty darn good. No complaints here. The best thing about this rice is that there’s literally two steps: tear the corner and then microwave it. There’s no added ingredients, no stirring or simmering… Plus there’s a lot of different flavors. #ProTip: Make sure to grab it out of the microwave from the opposite end you tore the package open at. All the steam rises out of the small opening. It’s #science.
Listen, as a kid who sometimes had to fend for themselves during those after school treat periods, these were pretty much my go-to. Two tortillas and a ridiculous amount of cheese. Pop that in the microwave for a minute and a half and out comes one delicious meal. Just be sure to cover it with a paper towel to keep the cheese from spewing out everywhere into the microwave.
Fruit and Vegetables
Yeah, wait, what? These are still a thing. I promise you that these are very real things, despite how rarely you see them in the cafeteria. No, they probably won’t last you the entire duration of spring break or anything, but this listicle is for the “Almost Breaks.” These are perfect to snack on without feeling guilty (since the gym’s most likely closed as well) and also very filling. Just make sure you don’t forget about them once the break is over because fruit flies (#nasty) are not something your roommates will easily forgive you for.
Barilla Italian Entrees
Anyone who’s actually Italian would slap me for suggesting this, but you know what? Pasta is pasta. Sure, the sauce is a little watery. And fine, sometimes the pasta weirdly sticks together, and the sauce won’t stay on your fork, so you’re pretty much just eating sticky, partially-raw pasta… But for the most part, this hits the spot. And at only 300 calories for an entire tray of pasta? That’s pretty good if you ask me. #ProTip: If you don’t like your noodles al dente, pop a bit of water in there and microwave it for an additional 30 seconds. Viola!
What? Bacon in a microwave? YEP. BACON IN A MICROWAVE. Just pop those suckers between some paper towels, give it about two minutes per slice, and you’ve got a great way to start your morning. (Or a midnight snack. I’m not judging!) It’ll look pretty greasy and gross at first, but that’s only because the paper towel absorbs a lot of the juices. It tastes exactly the same. Trust me: bacon is bacon.
Alright, you got me, no microwave is required on this one. But this is still an admirable option for a consumable meal. There is nothing wrong with some Trix for dinner. No one is above having cereal for dinner; don’t act like you’ve never done it before. Just be sure to watch the milk expiration date or your roommates might kill you if you leave them to deal with a container once it’s expired.
This isn’t very economically efficient but I think a lot of people forget that Domino’s has some amazing deals. I mean, two medium pizzas for $8 each? That’ll feed you for the entire “Almost Break” and you might even still have leftovers. Most Chinese places do a pint of noodles and rice for no more than $10. Is it healthy? Absolutely not. Will you cringe at your account balance after four days of ordering food in a row? You betcha. Is it kind of worth it just to not starve to death and actually eat decently? Well, kind of.
#ProTip: Just for the sake of your wellbeing (health-wise and financially), don’t order out more than three days in a row. Not that any of these is a particularly healthy option, but take out has to be the least healthy of the bunch. It’s not like you’ll be ordering salads. I’m sorry. Someone had to say it.