Welcome to Year Two

Fresh off of a summer-long detox from frat parties and Chick- fil- A, here you are: moving into your apartment/ frat house/ sorority house, wondering what to do without meal swipes, pregaming the Sophomore Slump --- I mean preparing for. If you haven't heard of this curse, it's a thing. And it's a real thing. Classes become more intense, you'll realize you miss being the babies of college, and you are in the midst of turning 21, which means your bank account is in the midst of being drained. Thought you were adulting freshman year? Welcome to the real world, kid. What a time to be alive!

I'm a sophomore myself, so you're probably wondering why I can be trusted giving advice to people my own age...But don't worry, I've done my research, which included wiping the tears of last year's sophomore class. I understand the struggle, so I'm here to make sure it cracks you if anything rather than poaching you whole.

Bargain Hunt

I'm still on a Chipotle hangover from their welcome weekend BOGO deal. I don't mind paying extra for guac when I have a free lunch to save for the next day!

guacamole, vegetable, herb, avocado
Jocelyn Hsu

These are the kinds of deals you will learn to take advantage of as this year starts up. As you begin to wonder how your parent's made your fridge at home look so full and eat so much minute rice you become allergic to it, you're going to need some variety at a cheap cost. Stay on the lookout for specials at local eateries --- whether that's $1.00 pizza slices, 50 cent wings, or $5.00 burgers WITH fries. Even if it means waking up early, head to campus for free meal offers (super popular during the first week, dead weeks, and the holidays!). Get involved in clubs on campus (which I encourage regardless of the food)...chances are, they'll provide food at meetings! When worst comes to worse, befriend a freshman (emphasis on FRIEND) and ask them politely to escort you to the dining hall. They can't say no to a superior. ;)

Along with these bargaining tips, check out the link below to find out where you can score big for cheap. It's like... meal prep!


Get Cookin' Good Lookin'

For all my guys out there, girls love a man who can cook. Take this free time in your apartment to learn a thing or two about making a meal instead of eating cereal while playing Fortnite. It's much more attractive.

Girls, lower your expectations because the chances that the above advice will be taken is slim to none. This is your chance to be the next Rachael Ray... get together, pop open a bottle of *sparkling grape juice*, and get cooking.

Recipes fit for the Broke

Maybe you have the motivation to cook but the budget is not so supportive. I firmly believe that there is a solution to every problem, it just takes some trial and error. You're in luck, because I got the most creative award in preschool and have some suggestions to amp up your food game.

Let's start with ramen. For 25 cents per pack, you can stock up on what may seem like a bland dish and turn it into something Gordon Ramsey would never approve but just might notice! Fry up an egg, add some veggies, and you've got stir fry. Partially boil the noodles, pop them in the oven for a few minutes, and throw them atop a salad for a crunchy twist. If you're feeling really ambitious, cook them just enough to stay in a solid shape and use them as burger buns.

ramen, beef
Jenny Seidman

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and money is never an excuse to miss it. A loaf of bread, eggs, milk, and some spices can transform into a french toast delicacy for a low cost. With the same ingredients you can make an egg sandwich with a glass of milk (your bones will thank you!). Yogurt can be found for 50 cents or less per container, so add your favorite fruit and granola for a yogurt parfait that looks pretty and tastes even better. For the late nights and early mornings, two words: Pop. Tarts.

Even if you have to call mom, there are a few more meal suggestions that beginners have the ability to make while staying under budget. These are also meals that, by changing a few ingredients, will leave you free of boredom and more than satisfied. Spaghetti and meatballs can be fixed in under 30 minutes while leaving you with a few days worth of leftovers. Change the noodle shape to fettuccine, marinara sauce to alfredo, and you've got a completely new dish for the same cost. Tacos are another great option... start with the classic hard shell, seasoned beef getup. In my opinion, nothing beats that classic... but for the sake of monotony, crush up that hard shell (or a bag of Doritos!), throw it over your favorite salad blend with the meat, add some home-smashed guac and you've got a taco salad for the win!

Bonus: sounds weird, but tastes delicious (especially when you have the munchies)... put the leftover spaghetti inside the taco shells for some Spaghetti Tacos. Thank you iCarly.

You're on Your Own Now

Here's to making the year less of a Sophomore Slump and more of a Second Year...beer? I hope that these foodie tips can help to make that happen. If times do get hard and all you want to do after a long day of school is sit with a nice bowl of cereal and cry over the Bachelorette, you have every right to do so. But when your body is asking for something with a bit more flare, take advantage of these tips and continue to thrive. You make it through freshman year whole, I have all the faith that you can make it through this year the same. Maybe soft boiled, but still whole.

egg yolk, egg, fried egg, bread, milk, cream, dairy product, coffee, butter
Helena Lin