If you're like me, you know cheese is the perfect complement to any situation. Rainy day? Curl up in bed with a hot cup of coffee and some cheese. Free weekend? Pack up your favorite cheese and fruit and lay about in the sun for a picnic. Got a bad grade on an assignment? Comfort yourself with a nice, warm cheese and jam on crackers (the salt of your tears will balance out the sweetness!). Of course, we know that while all cheese is great, not all cheese is created equal, and the best way to eat cheese is on an aesthetically designed cheese board (think @thatcheeseplate on Instagram). Here are five perfectly designed cheese boards every college student can integrate into their daily life. 

How To Create the Perfect Cheese Board

From the cheese goddess herself, @thatcheeseplate, I have learned that there are five essential elements to any cheese plate (and one optional). 

1. The cheese

2. The meat (can be subbed for dietary reasons)

3. The produce

4. The crunch

5. The dip

6. The garnish (optional)

All of these create a rich variety that delights all the senses, from taste to visual appeal to smell. For best results, arrange your cheese board in this order: begin with your cheese, supplement with the meat, complement with the produce, then fill in the gaps with the crunch and the dip. A popular method to arranging your plate is using a variety of shapes and textures. This can include placing your dip (or some crunch) in bowls or jars, creating a "salami river" to divide the space on your board, or cutting your cheese into many different shapes. If you're looking for some inspiration, read on for five cheese board ideas -- chances are one of these will satisfy your cheesy cravings!  

The "Girl's Night In" Cheese Board

This board is focused on all the classic flavors of a cheese board- the creamy cheese, the tangy fruit, the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate. 

1. The cheese: goat cheese, blue cheese

2. The meat: salami river

3. The produce: grapes, cherries, dried raspberries

4. The crunch: crackers, baguette, dark chocolate

5. The dip: blueberry preserves, honey

The "Midterm Season" Cheese Board

The library grind just got so much more enticing, didn't it? Jam packed with brain power food, this board is sure to give you energy to crank out those problem sets at 2 am. 

1. The cheese: sharp cheddar, mini mozzarella balls

2. The meat: salami

3. The produce: cucumber, carrot slivers, sugar snap peas

4. The crunch: almonds, whole grain crackers, pretzel crisps

5. The dip: hummus

The "Netflix Binge" Cheese Board

Why turn to boring popcorn or pizza for your next Netflix binge when you can satisfy all your cravings in this cheese board? From the salty to sweet, crunchy to creamy, this board has got you covered.

1. The cheese: warm brie, manchego

2. The meat: N/A

3. The produce: dried apricots, dried cranberries, blueberries

4. The crunch: popcorn, yogurt covered pretzels, candied pecans, flatbread crackers

5. The dip: raspberry jam

The "Gameday" Cheese Board

Coach K will be jealous he can't come to your watch party when he hears about this plate. All the classic game day foods, with a cheesy twist. 


1. The cheese: blue cheese, spicy pepperjack

2. The meat: mini pigs in the blanket, chorizo

3. The produce: pickles, celery

4. The crunch: pretzel crisps, tortilla chips

5. The dips: guacamole, mustard

The "Sunday Brunch" Cheese Board

Skip out on the Sunday Brunch at the Nasher and snaz it up a tad with this tangy, flavorful cheese board. 

1. The cheese: smoked gouda, gruyere

2. The meat: prosciutto, smoked salmon

3. The produce: blood oranges, grapefruit, raspberries

4. The crunch: crostini, pistachios

5. The dip: fig jam

What are you waiting for? Start cheesin!

Of course, feel free to experiment with any of these cheese board ideas and personalize with your own favorites (and maybe let me know what creations you come up with!)