One of the most heartbreaking, poignant, and brilliant moments in cinematic history was a line in "High School Musical 3": "High school wasn't meant to last forever." By now, our high school days have long come to an end, and our college days are numbered. Soon we'll all have to enter into the adult world. Responsibilities like filing taxes and paying rent might sound daunting, but what about the kitchen? You can't eat ramen forever. Here are 15 basic cooking skills to master before you graduate college.

1. Grocery shop for yourself

apple, Trader Joe's, egg, orange, reusable bags, egg carton, grocery story, Grocery Shopping
Jocelyn Hsu

First off, you need some actual ingredients before you begin cooking for yourself. You can't live off dining hall food forever, so you're going to have to grocery shop for real food, and not just candy or snacks. Learn to make a realistic and well-rounded list so you're not off wandering through the aisles, wishing that you had your mom to guide you.

2. Cook pasta al dente 

spaghetti, pasta, macaroni
Alex Frank

Personally, I don't think there's such thing as bad pasta. Maybe I have an unsophisticated palette, but noodles and sauce are my ideal dinner. For those who want to elevate your pasta game, learn how to cook your noodz al dente. That way your pasta is tender, but not total mush, and it makes for a wonderful base for all of your sauces and mix-ins.

3. Roast veggies

broccoli, avocado, cabbage, vegetable
Clarisse Callahan

Want to feel like an adult? Cooking vegetables, and cooking them well, is a full-proof way to really enter into the real world. This simple and easy veggie roast is fool-proof, so even the rookiest of chefs won't feel intimidated by this recipe.

4. Grill chicken that's actually flavorful

chicken, vegetable, meat, sauce, chicken breast
Michelle Rodriguez

Though chicken is something I eat almost every day, chicken can get boring, dry, and flavorless. Avoid getting sick of it by grilling the perfect chicken breast that's flavorful and juicy. Plus, you can meal prep multiple pieces so that you can save time to spend on other things, like maybe experimenting in the kitchen and making some sauce for your chicken. 

5. Crockpot it up

pasta, sauce, vegetable, tomato, meat, pepper, spaghetti
Analiese Trimber

Don't feel like making dinner after a long day at class or work? Throw some ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning or the night before, let it cook while you're out and about, and you've got a hearty bowl of anything from chili to bread pudding. Plus, most crockpot recipes make a ton, so you can save some for later or have seconds and thirds.

6. Brew the perfect cup of coffee

coffee, tea, milk, espresso, cappuccino, bed, mug, cozy
Caroline Ingalls

You're in college, so your blood is probably composed of at least 50 percent of coffee. Just kidding. But, do you know how to brew a good cup of joe yourself? And I mean, a really good cup, not just using a Keurig. Here's a breakdown of prepping your cup, including what beans to buy and the ratio of beans to water.

7. Make your own salad dressing

oil, wine, olive oil, alcohol, liquor
Bernard Wen

I'm terrible at getting my veggies in, but a good way to motivate myself to eat them is by drizzling a yummy salad dressing that makes those bitter greens more tolerable. Unfortunately, store bought dressings can be expensive and packed with additives, so making your own is a great option if you want to save money or control what you're consuming.

8. Cook rice without a rice cooker

rice, sushi
Sarah Silbiger

As someone who loves carbs, rice is something that I think everyone should have in the kitchen for a quick stir-fry or Buddha bowl. However, you don't need a rice cooker to cook rice. Try out this stovetop rice tutorial for some fluffy rice.

9. How to cut a pineapple

pineapple, juice, tropical, Fruit
Sam Jesner

Pineapples aren't just a summertime treat; these juicy fruits can be integrated into both savory and sweet dishes. The one thing that might be off-putting about this fruit, however, is its spiky exterior, which can be hard to navigate. Don't waste your money on pre-sliced packages of pineapple. Cut them yourself and earn some knife skills in the process.

10. Master cooking eggs in every form

egg, milk, cream
Susan Bean

One of the most versatile, affordable, and nutritious foods, eggs, are a kitchen staple. You can eat them for every meal and know that you're putting something good in your body. Though there are tons of unique ways to integrate eggs into your diet, learn how to cook eggs in its seven essential forms before you tackle the big guys.

11. Assemble a cheap cheese plate for when you're hosting a dinner party

cheese, bread, ham, salami, sandwich
Maggie Lees

One of the hallmarks of adulthood is hosting a fancy dinner party, and one of the prerequisites of this task is to prepare a cheese board. It sounds fancy, and frankly a tad pretentious, but don't worry, it's not as complicated and frivolous as it sounds. This plate might only cost $25, but your guests won't know it, since it's both aesthetically pleasing and seriously delicious.

12. Make chocolate chip cookies from scratch

chocolate, cookie, butter, peanut butter, peanut
Jenna Moxley

It's 3 am. You're bingeing another episode of "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix, and you're really craving some chocolate chip cookies. You look in your freezer and you've run out of pre-made dough. What can you do? Make your own from scratch. You'll most likely have all the ingredients in your cupboards already, so it'll be super easy to whip up a quick batch and get your cookie fix.

13. Bake a signature dessert you can bring to potlucks

bread, sweet, pastry
Kristine Mahan

As an add-on to #11, not only will you host dinner parties (or even least snack-filled pregames), but you will also be invited to tons of them, including potlucks. Making enough food for a potluck, and even deciding what to bring, is a difficult task, until you find a super easy, signature dessert to bring. Nobody is ever going to say no to a beautiful, home-baked good, and if you master the recipe, your friends will keep asking you to bring it, so it'll be a no-brainer!

#SpoonTip: Choose the fanciest-sounding dessert to impress, but just because it sounds or looks fancy, it doesn't mean it's hard to make.

14. Know how to make a good cocktail

wine, tea, alcohol, juice, sweet, cocktail, liquor, Sangria, Spain, Barcelona, red wine
Amelia Hitchens

Cracking open a cold one might have sufficed in college, but you are a full-fledged adult; be classy with your drinks. Save money and ditch the bars by being your own bartender. You can even have a swanky cocktail while you're in your sweats. 

15. Perfect a secret family recipe

sauce, tomato
Madison Pessel

Finally, perhaps the most important skill to have when you get your own place—have a handy family recipe that you can use whenever you get homesick. You might be out of college, but that doesn't mean that you should feel distant from your family. This Eggplant Parmesan is Spoon and grandma- approved, and will make you feel nostalgic for those Sunday dinners in every single bite.

College is weird. You're in this weird gray area in which you're expected to be able to take care of yourself, but you're not always completely autonomous and integrated into mainstream society. The transition from undergrad to wherever you end up afterwards is hard, but I hope this guide proved to be helpful, whether you're moving into your first apartment or just want to feel more confident in the kitchen.