Whether you're living off-campus or in a dorm, finals is a dreadful season for all of us. During this time, we find ourselves immersed in a great amount of stress and anxiety due to the final grades that will make or break our GPAs. To make it even more dreadful, I've found that food starts to become a barrier more so than a pleasure because we feel our time could be better invested studying. That is why I bring you quick and easy finals meals and snacks that are dorm-friendly and will keep you going this exam season.

Kathryn Stouffer

#1: Microwaveable Pasta 

You can make your favorite pasta recipe in your dorm! No, I'm not talking about Kraft Mac and Cheese. Take your favorite pasta, and add your desired amount to a bowl. Cover with about three to four cups of water, making sure that the pasta is submerged. Salt your water, and microwave on high for the amount specified on the box (usually about ten minutes).

If you don't want your pasta to be al dente, you can add two to three more minutes. Then, take your favorite store-bought pasta sauce, and mix it all together. If you wish to add any vegetables or proteins, you can find frozen, microwaveable options at most grocery stores. Follow the instructions, and mix those into your pasta as well. You could also add ready-to-go options, such as canned tuna. 

#2: Quinoa Nourish Bowl 

Take your preferred type of quinoa, and place it in a bowl with two cups of water. Microwave on high for about six minutes, or until the quinoa has softened. Make sure to cover your bowl when placing the quinoa in the microwave; you can use a plate, towel, or anything else that will avoid it from spilling.

While your quinoa is cooking, place a bed of spinach or mixed greens in a bowl. Add your quinoa and any veggies you like. You can add them raw (tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots), or cook them down in the microwave a little if you'd like (broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes).

For a protein source that doesn't require cooking, I'd recommend canned options such as chickpeas and black beans or tofu. Edamame would be good as well, but you may have to microwave them. Once assembled, top your bowl with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. I'd also suggest adding some lemon juice and any seeds you prefer. If you're unsure which combination you'd like, you can scroll through Instagram and get some inspiration!

#3: Rice Cakes

Now, I promise this one doesn't involve any microwaving. Even though this isn't a complete meal, it makes for a great dorm-friendly snack. It's quite simple: take three to four rice cakes, and just top them with whatever you fancy! You can use cream cheese, peanut butter, slices of cheese, hummus, or any store-bought dip you have. Then, add any other toppings you'd like, such as fruit or smoked salmon. Get creative! This is where all your brainpower converts from chemistry mode to thinking about the ultimate rice cake combination.

Finals season shouldn't be made more dreadful than it already is by depriving ourselves of tasty meals. These are just some of my personal favorites when it comes to quick, easy, and dorm-friendly recipes, and I hope you give them a try this upcoming finals season!