You’re hungry, you’re tired, and you don’t feel like walking to the dining hall. No problem, because you’ll have all the energy you need to power you through your homework if you always keep these five items fully stocked in your dorm. It doesn’t matter if you can’t cook, if you’re a healthy eater, or if you still don’t know how you function without Mom around. You will always have a need for these basic groceries.
1. Granola Bars
Granola bars may remind you of being a hungry 8-year-old wandering into the kitchen and having your mom tell you to grab one because dinner isn’t going to be ready for another hour. Ugh. They can be sticky, bland, and all around just subpar. But for those mornings when your alarm clock fails you and you wake up ten minutes before your 9 am class, that stouthearted granola bar stashed away in your desk drawer will turn that bad day around. You may not have had time to brush your teeth, but at least your stomach won’t be growling in class.
2. Easy Mac
You knew this would be on this list. Always keep a stacked pyramid of Easy Mac hidden somewhere in your dorm. You never know when you’re going to crave the perfect fusion of liquid gold and hot noodles, and there is no worse feeling than realizing your roommate ate the last one yesterday. If you want to try and convince yourself that you’re fancy or something, you could always spice up your Easy Mac with some extra ingredients.
Of course we all know the importance of staying hydrated and how we should drink, like, 30 gallons of water per day. Perhaps you’d rather spend your calories on solid food instead of liquid, but water isn’t going to restore your dwindling electrolytes on those days you can’t get yourself out of bed. Keep half a dozen Gatorade bottles in your fridge for when you’re sick or hungover. Or hey, even if you’re working out, whether you’re a star athlete or not.
4. Peanut Butter
I’m sure by now you’ve experienced the mysticism of peanut butter. For all I know, peanut butter was created for the sole purpose of college dorm room snacking. Thanks for thinking of us, George Washington Carver.
Fix yourself up a peanut butter sandwich to make studying less dreadful. Dip a couple of your apple slices in some peanut butter and enjoy fruit like you’ve never enjoyed something healthy before. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the bread. Or just eat it with a spoon (this is college, no one will judge you for it).
Of course, those with peanut allergies should probably shy away from this special treat, but there are some terrific spread substitutes, like Nutella and Biscoff, which serve the same day-brightening purpose.
5. Trail Mix
Trail Mix, or GORP (good old raisins and peanuts), is perfect to keep in a container on your desk. GORP’s best trait is that there is no recipe—you just toss all of your favorite ingredients from the grocery store into a big old bowl. For example, my trail mix concoction contains raisins, peanuts, peanut butter M&Ms, cashews, pretzels, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows—or, alternatively, you could leave out the sugary sweet stuff and just make it healthy.
Any given handful promises to be salty, sweet, and chewy. If you ned a little help to get yourself started, though, this article can help you perfect your dream trail mix.