When living in a messy shoebox that we tend to call a dorm room, you may be feeling the need to indulge in something a little classier than the Kraft mac and cheese cups that you have been devouring daily. For cheese-addicts like myself who are looking to perfect the art of the cheese board, look no further. Here are some tips to prepare the ultimate cheese board that will convince all of your friends that you should be competing on MasterChef.

Pick a variety of cheese

When feeding others, it’s important that with no matter what you’re serving, you always have options. While you may want to be adventurous and have all your guests try Roquefort, some may be more eager to stick with an aged orange cheddar. Not only should your cheese board vary in flavor, but also look for a variety in texture, color, and strength of the cheese.

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Sam Jesner

About three pounds of cheese for every eight people

Finding the perfect amount of cheese is tough. You don’t want to run out of cheese, but you also don’t want to have your fridge filled to the brim with extra cheese (or maybe you do, to each their own). It is recommended that you serve about three pounds of cheese for every eight people. Worst case scenario, you’re left over with some extra cheese to munch on over the next few days, but there is a very slim chance that your guests will leave hungry.

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Allison Beckner

Leave soft cheese as is, slice hard cheese

Your goal is to make this cheese board experience as easy as can be. To avoid a mess and any difficulty, cut all hard cheeses before serving while leaving all soft cheeses as is for guests to cut themselves.

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Caroline Ingalls

Label the cheese

Nobody wants to grab some cheese thinking it’s feta but getting goat cheese. Especially when serving new or interesting cheeses, it’s important to let your guests know what they’re getting. An excellent tip for labeling cheese is to get chalkboard labels and write the names of the cheeses on these labels to avoid excess clutter as well as be able to reuse the labels.

Perry Albert

Take the cheese out of the fridge about an hour before serving

To get the cheese to the perfect serving temperature, you should aim to take the cheese out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving. This way, the cheese will be easy to cut as well as not too cold on the teeth.

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Caroline Ingalls

Pick a variety of spreads – sweet and spicy

Alongside the cheeses, spreads are always a great option. That said, people often have strong preferences whether they enjoy sweet or spicy, as well as what pairs nicely with different cheeses. Some great options are a red pepper spicy jelly, a fig jam or an apricot jam.

Perry Albert

Add some fresh fruit, dry fruit, meat and/or crackers

For those who are lactose intolerant and unlike myself, don’t decide to risk it every chance they get, it’s essential to provide some other options. Some great additions to a cheese board are both fresh and dry fruit, meat and crackers. Not only are they great for those not looking to devour pounds of cheese, but all of these sides also go great with any of the cheeses on the board. If you're looking to go that extra mile with your fruit, try these wine-infused grapes

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Rebecca Buechler

Next time you're feeling like you just can't eat dining hall food and pizza for the seventh night in a row, try out these tips and make a delicious and classy cheese board for you and all of your friends. At the end of the day, there's nothing better than some cheese (with a side of Lactaid pills, of course).