Maybe you've connected with your suite mates over favorite TV shows, similar music tastes or the stress of your first calc exam, but nothing brings people together quite like cracking a few eggs and stirring in some flour.

If you want to get closer with your suite mates but don't know how, baking is the way to go. Even if you all have come to school from different corners of the country–or perhaps even different nations–baking together will give you something to do and something to talk about.

Because we're about halfway through the first semester of my freshman year, my suite mates decided that it was time we got to know each other a little better. Based on our experience, here is my best advice to make sure your baking/bonding session goes perfectly.

Everyone Works Together

cake, cupcake, candy, sweet, chocolate, sushi
Grayce Nieberle

First, you should decide which recipe you're going to use as a group. After a bit of discussion, my suite decided to bake sugar cookies and decorate them, too. It's a good idea to pick something simple and universally loved–who doesn't like classic sugar cookies with sprinkles and icing?

Cookie recipes are perfect because they often have different steps for people to work on simultaneously. For example, in a sugar cookie recipe, you have to combine the dry ingredients, like flour and baking powder, and wet ingredients, like butter and eggs, in separate bowls. Having multiple parts to a recipe gives everyone a job, so no one will feel left out or bored while you're all working on the final product together.

If you're really feeling ambitious or if you have a lot of people in your suite, you could have a couple people hand-make the icing. It isn't too difficult, but my suite and I just decided to use a tub of the classic Betty Crocker instead.

Make it Personal

cookie, cream, chocolate, sweet
Grayce Nieberle

Get creative and use your favorite parts of baking to actually get to know each other. Baking together can mean turning on some music, relaxing and just talking, but you can also make it exciting and fun. Start a flour fight (if you're willing to clean up the mess!), make hilarious cookie shapes out of your dough or even have a competition to see who can make the most beautiful cookie out of the group. 

My suite mates and I decided to put a representation of something we loved on our cookies, which helped us get to know each other more and kept us laughing at our lack of artistic abilities. 

sweet, candy, pastry, cake, chocolate, sprinkles, cookie, doughnut
Grayce Nieberle

Because food is universally appreciated, it has the power to bring people together and help them learn about each other. Our individual backgrounds shape our food preferences, ways of eating and cooking, and even which foods we've been exposed to in general. Baking can be the medium through which you learn the different ways that your suite mates' backgrounds have shaped them, whether it be in a similar or different way to your own.

Thankfully, there is so much time left in the year to get to know your suite mates, but in the mean time, baking is an ideal way to get started—and have an excuse to eat homemade cookies at the same time. I can only hope that all of your fun baking/bonding won't be ruined by deciding who has to clean up what in the end.