Maya Borenstein, a current sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, is taking the campus foodie scene by storm one post at a time. Her Instagram account, Papaya's Food (@papayasfood), began purely as a hobby. Over the past year, her account has grown into a phenomenon with a substantial following of nearly 7,000 people, consisting of both WashU students and the general Instagram community alike. The account's most popular feature? Oatmeal bowls.

As a follower and fan myself, I was so excited when Maya agreed to sit down with me and answer some questions about herself and the background of the account. So without further ado, I present you with the responses to my (and vicariously your) burning questions about the one and only @papayasfood.

What made you decide to start the account?  

Maya Borenstein

"Well, I started the account 4 years ago, actually kind of randomly. I was always a big fan of looking at food pictures and videos, and I had way too many of my own on my camera roll, so I figured why not? It wasn't actually until last summer that I started to incorporate more of cooking, but now it's mostly cooking and a few pictures from restaurants. It's not always easy to get great pictures of food from the dining hall, so obviously there's not much of that."

What inspired the username?

"I chose Papaya's Food because, when I would hang out with one of my best friends from growing up, her dad would call me Maya Papaya or just Papaya since there aren't a lot of nicknames for Maya. So when I made the account I took that as inspiration because I wanted something related to food in my username and initially didn't want to use my real name, so hence 'Papaya's Food.'"

When did the oatmeal interest in particular begin?

"Last year, I had a microwave in my dorm. During the winter, when my roommate and I didn't want to face the cold, we would make oatmeal—kind of as a cozy comfort sort of thing. Suddenly, it was something we were both doing every morning. It actually became a decorating thing over the summer because I saw some accounts that inspired me. I’d been into smoothie bowls before because those were always pretty, and I said, 'I’ve seen it on oatmeal, I’m just going to try to do that.' And is stuck from there. It was fun for me."

What’s your favorite combo?

"I really think you can’t go wrong with the classic peanut butter, chocolate, and banana. It’s an OG, and everyone always asks me if I get sick of it. It's the most common question I get, but I just don’t. I don’t know how."

What do you think is the weirdest oatmeal combination you've seen or done?

"Well, I’ve definitely seen some weird ones out there. I’ve seen grapes, and that really freaks me out. I’m personally not very creative with the fruits because I think it would creep me out too much to use something unusual. Something I use that other people may consider a little weird is apples. They may be common in the Instagram-oatmeal world but probably not in everyday life. My dad actually used to make fun of me for the bowls not being creative enough, so he bought me these cookie cutters that I could use for my fruit. I haven’t had time to do that here [at WashU], but I may have to soon to spice it up."

Can you talk about some of the partnerships you’ve had since starting the account?

"A lot of them are kind of like a one-time thing. Different companies send me a product to post about. Usually it’s peanut butter or granola or something like that. There have been a few companies that I’ve really liked, and they’ve liked my posts, so we’ve partnered a few times, like Legendary Foods. I really liked their nut butter. Some of the companies don’t repost my photos on their stories or anything, but Legendary would put [my posts] on their feed or on their stories because they’ve really liked them. So they’ve probably sent me the most products.

The rest have been kind of random. About half I would reach out to if they had something I would want to try, and half would reach out to me. This mostly started over the summer when I was home and bored, but now random companies, like a ramen company, and most recently a smoothie company reached out to me. I think it’s mostly companies in the health food industry that think it can’t really hurt to reach out. But it’s been great because I’ve gotten random stuff that I never would have otherwise. Also, it’s free food, and as a college student, that’s a pretty big deal."

What has been the best part of running your account so far?

"It’s weird but also kind of fun that the account [has] kind of become part of my identity—both on social media and at school. A lot of people sort of seem to know me for it, which is weird but also cool. My sorority even had an event where we all made oatmeal together. There was a topping bar and everything."

Have there been any downsides to running the account?

"Well, probably the amount of time I spend on it—from the time I spend creating content to all of the accounts I follow and everything else. Also, sometimes I feel pressure, even when I’m in a hurry, to make [my oatmeal and other dishes] pretty enough so that I can do a post. I’m working on managing my time more wisely, but it’s just so easy to waste time scrolling."

And finally, where do you see your account in a year from now?

Maya Borenstein

"Maybe cooking and sharing more lunches and dinners because I’ll have a kitchen."

Speaking on behalf of all of Maya's fans: we will be here to support you and @papayasfood every mouth-watering step of the way.