I can't cook. I'll admit it. The microwave is a kitchen necessity, and if food prep lasts more than five minutes, I'm probably not doing it. This doesn't leave me with many options, nor do I think I can achieve much creativity in the culinary world as I would like, but it does open me to a whole aisle in the grocery store. Two words - Eleven letters - Three syllables - Lean Pockets - the meal hack we don't deserve. And yes, I have convinced myself that eating lean pockets is just as necessary to adulting as paying the bills and voting.

Now, there's no need to get intimidated, I know there exists quite the selection, enough for you to end up with frost bite before choosing one from the freezer section, but I'm here to hack THE meal hack. I'm going to break down the lean pocket world for you, ranking my favorites by taste. 

Bon appetit!

1. Chicken Jalapeño and Cheese on Pretzel Bread

My favorite, hands down. The cheese starts running and gets all melted, the jalapeños offer a bit of spiciness, it's perfect. Fast track to merely decent Mexican food...and by fast, I mean literally two minutes so like might as well. It's also cheaper than the Moe's I live on top of and homemade quesadillas just really don't cut it when you aren't willing to go bougie.

2. Sausage Egg and Cheese

Do you want breakfast? How about breakfast for dinner? Or maybe just in the middle of the day because you're a rebel that has lost sense of time because lack of sleep? If you said yes to any of the previous questions, I'd highly recommend quenching your cravings with this beauty. I consider this my OG lean pocket since it's been on circulation for the longest.

3. Meatball Mozzarella

Your microwave did just transport you to Italy. Welcome. With seasoned crust and those microwavable meatballs covered in cheese and sauce, nothing can really go wrong. Unless you don't wait for it to cool down because you're the slightest bit too eager. That's the real struggle.

4. Philly Steak and Cheese

You can't really go wrong with this one either, but it's pretty hard to find so I'm salty about it. I also am oddly obsessed with philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and not saying they're at all the same, but when time is limited, it satisfies that craving EASY. 

5. Mesquite BBQ Chicken

This gives a new taste to the world of microwavable bread pockets. The BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy, perfectly complimented with the pretzel bread. Who needs a cookout?

Of course, lean pockets are not the only way to survive college, but they are great ways to make a little extra time in your day.  As are grocery shopping with a plan, optimizing the dinning hall, and meal prep.

We're overworked and under-appreciated, but that doesn't mean we can't also be thriving. Take care of your body and yourself with those standard three meals a day and listen to what your body needs.

P.S. I know hot pockets are portable and college is all about the stress and the rush, but don't be afraid to take things easy. Sit and enjoy a meal, take a break from running. You deserve it.