There comes a time in a young college kid’s life when you’re sick of the dining hall food, can’t stomach the thought of another bowl of Easy Mac, and are faced with the decision of either starving to death or finally attempting to (gasp) use the oven.
While your first attempt at cooking may have involved flames, lots of swearing, and some very annoyed roomies, you’ll probably never forget the pride you felt after cooking your first meal. And if the memory’s a little blurry, you can relive the experience through these Parks and Rec GIFs, because no one can say it quite like our crew from Pawnee.
Stage One: Confident AF
You knew all those Chopped marathons were gonna come in handy one day. This is your time to shine, man. Recipe? Check. Ingredients? Check. The only pan you own? Check. Let’s crank up the T. Swift and get this show on the road.
Stage Two: Enthusiasm
Huh, this is actually kinda fun in a mindless sorta way. And look how awesome I am at chopping these veggies! Now that is a mighty fine dice. Like, seriously, just call me Ina effing Garten.
Stage Three: Realization
Oh sh*t — that said 4 teaspoons, not tablespoons. Dammit. Wait, is half-and-half the same as heavy cream? And WTF does it mean to “fold” in the ingredients? We’re not doing laundry here.
Stage Four: Denial
Everything’s fine. Remain calm. You’ve got this. You’re Ina effing Garten, remember? So what if the pan is smoking? That’s supposed to happen, duh. HA HA YOU’RE FINE TOTALLY FINE LOL EVERYTHING’S FABULOUS HA HA *cries*.
Stage Five: Mental Breakdown
OH GOD, OH GOD, OH GOD. That’s definitely not supposed to be turning that color. Oh my god, if I don’t cook this meal then I won’t have anything to eat and then I’ll have to get Jimmy John’s for the third time this week and the delivery guy will judge me and embarrass me so I’ll have to drop out of school all because I can’t cook some damn pasta. AHHHHHHHH.
Stage Six: Defeat
Screw it. Anyone want Jimmy John’s?
Stage Seven: Hope
Hold on a sec — you’re a grown ass college kid who cleans their own bathroom and makes their own dentist appointments. Think of your mother — no, wait — think of Ina and how proud she’ll be that you laughed in the face of failure (and overcooked pasta). Do it for Ina.
Stage Eight: Excitement
Hmm, lemme give the sauce a little taste. Hey, that’s actually pretty good. Woah, that’s really, really good. Holy crap, that’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. It’s gonna be so awesome on top of the pasta.
Stage Nine: Pride
I’ll take my Michelin stars now, Mr. Restaurant Critic, thankyouverymuch. Hey Mom, just calling to let you know that you’re talking to America’s next best chef. BTW, I’ll be dropping out of college and opening my own restaurant, wanna lend me $100,000?
Stage Ten: Exhaustion
So full. Can’t move. And now you’re telling me I have to clean this all up? Ugh, cooking is too hard. Remind me next time just to order Jimmy John’s.