Living in a college dorm has its perks. You get to "bond" with your floor about the communal bathrooms and get to travel in giant groups to the dining hall. However, living in your own college apartment brings new opportunities and new freedoms. 

Being a "foodie" and a girl who has always loved the kitchen, I could not wait to move into my first college apartment. Getting my own bedroom was a major benefit, but I was more excited for the kitchen. Here are the 7 things I learned my first semester cooking in a college apartment.

1. You cannot eat spaghetti for every meal.

Only needing two ingredients and 15 minutes, spaghetti is the ideal college meal. However, the carbs will add up, and you will become sick of noodles. Try substituting spaghetti for a salad or rice and beans every once and awhile. However, my new favorite twist on spaghetti is Lentil pasta, which you can buy at Trader Joes.

2. Your food will go bad, faster than you think. 

I bought honeycrisp apples, which are my favorite kind of apples, one of the first weekends in October. Four days later they had brown spots all over them and were too mushy to eat.  Along with that, I bought a bunch of bananas and one week later they looked very unappetizing. I learned that you need to strategically buy food from the grocery store, so there is no waste involved. 

#SpoonTip: Turn rotten bananas into homemade ice cream or use them for banana bread.

apple, pasture, juice
Annabel Epstein

3. Cooking will take more time in the morning. 

Instead of running to the dining hall to sit with your friends before your first class of the day, now you have to "meal prep." This means that you have to allow extra time in the morning for making your own food. Making avocado toast with scrambled eggs is more time consuming then you think. For example, you have to mash the avocado, mix eggs in a bowl before cooking, then cook the eggs, toast your bread, and then finally put everything together. Your morning routine just got a lot busier. 

vegetable, pepper, zucchini, meat
Christin Urso

4. Be careful. You have food 24/7.

Instead of having a bag of pretzels or candy in your small dorm room, you have large amounts of food (expect if it's your off week food shopping). This means that you are able to cook anything at any time, which can be dangerous to your eating habits. 

5. You will need to make time to go to the grocery store.

Along with extra time in the morning, cooking in your own apartment requires one to shop for food. Time to head to the grocery store! My first time shopping on my own was an experiment. The grocery store can be very overwhelming and I bought so many things I never used. 

#SpoonTip: Adding grocery shopping into your weekly routine will make it much easier to manage.

cereal, Aloe vera, herb, Trader Joe's, shopping basket, Market, Grocery
Caroline Ingalls

6. You won't have unlimited options anymore. 

The average University of Delaware dining hall has 13 different options you can chose from, including gluten free, kosher, and vegan sections. Your apartment certainly does not have that kind of variety. However, plan to have many different types of food in your kitchen so things don't get boring. 


7. Get a "small" meal plan.

Most universities have an option to get a dining plan which doesn't include dining hall swipes. This plan goes towards student center snacks and library coffees. I haven't been to the dining hall since I moved into my apartment, but I have been stuck out all day and starving, which means that I have had to spend on fruit and power bars. Do as I say and not as I do, and get a small meal plan.