Before coming to college, gathering around the table and eating a home-cooked meal was something that was very common for me. It was a time during which I would share and create memories with my family and friends.

It wasn’t until I was away from home that I realized how important those home-cooked meals were to me and how much I would miss them. Eating meals with people who are important to me brings me joy and confidence. So I began to think, what would happen if I made my close friends a home-cooked meal in college? Will it help me feel more comfortable in the new environment I am in? Will it make me feel less stressed? Will it make me have closer relationships with my new friends? After thinking all of this, I decided to test it out.

Photo courtesy of Isabel Rodriguez
Let me start off by saying that cooking a meal in college isn’t as easy as it may seem. First, I had to pick a day that would work for everyone. Then I had to go to Earth Fair, the grocery store near campus, and buy all the food. Note that I don’t have a car so that meant walking back and forth while carrying the groceries.

As soon as I got back from the supermarket, I headed straight to the kitchen that is in one of the dorms on campus. The only thing is that the utensils and pans that I needed to cook weren’t already in the kitchen. I had to go find the RA on call and check out the supplies they had available to cook with. As soon as I got everything I needed, my friends and I started cooking. 

Photo courtesy of Isabel Rodriguez

The cooking part was really entertaining and enjoyable. My friends and I decided to make salmon, baked potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, which are all easy foods to make. As soon as the food was ready, we all sat together and began eating. We were all pumped about eating food that wasn’t from the dining hall. Not only were we eating yummy food, but we were also enjoying each other’s company. We were making conversation and sharing with each other.

I know it may sound cheesy, but small things like cooking dinner can make such a difference for someone in college. Adjusting to a new environment isn’t always easy and finding things that can help make that adjustment easier is important. Cooking dinner definitely helped me. I was proud that I put in the time to do something that would make not only me happy, but also my friends happy. It also made me feel like I was at home, which is a feeling I don’t get a lot here. 

Photo courtesy of Isabel Rodriguez

The amount of time and the amount of steps it took me to make dinner made me realize that cooking a meal isn’t something that I will be able to do a lot in college. Although I won’t be able to cook a lot, it is something that I want to try and do every once in a while. It is a happy, fun, and satisfying experience that everyone should definitely try.