A kitchen is supposed to be a space to cook meals, store snacks, and eat, right? As far as I can see from one semester of sharing a kitchen with three other roommates, it is way more hectic than my kitchen at home, or then the dining hall freshman year. Before college, I never cooked or washed all my dishes

The extent of my “domestic” lifestyle was throwing together a bowl of cereal my mom picked up from the grocery store, and placing it in the dishwasher when I was finished. I never thought that once I got to college and started the apartment lifestyle with roommates in a city (or any apartment life for that matter) that the kitchen would cause various hectic moments in my daily life.

If you are soon to be moving into an apartment, or if you are just anything like me and can relate to the struggles of sharing a kitchen with other students, here are some of the thoughts I have:

Sunday Food Shopping 

Going to a local or chain grocery store signals the end of my weekend. Sunday afternoons are a time every week that I decide what meals and snacks I am going to have for the upcoming week. Judging by the lines at the cash registers, the grocery store is full of people trying to do the exact same thing.

Weekends are a time to explore the city around me in terms of trying local food and going to entertaining meals, so I assume that I need food for about 5 days. I pick out the bread, fruits, vegetables, meat, pretzels, and drinks that I know I love. 

I take my meal prep, packing lunch for class, and late nights at the library into account in terms of quantities that I am buying. Now that I am done, I am ready for the week.

Early mornings 

Some people do not believe in eating breakfast before class, but I personally cannot focus unless I make at least a little something. Eggs are my go-to – they are quick, easy, and filling. Quietly taking the pots and pans out of the cabinets while trying not to clank them together is a difficult task.

Thankfully I don’t use the microwave in the morning, but I don’t know how I would use that without waking my roommates if the time came when it was necessary. Making coffee with my Keurig already makes me anxious enough that I am going to wake someone. 

Meal Prep

While sitting in class, I plan my meals for the rest of the day so I have something to look forward to and can immediately begin cooking when I get home. Throughout the year, I have learned my roommates’ schedules so I can plan my meal times to avoid the hectic kitchen and the use of all four hot plates on the stove at once.

Borrowing from your roommates

I already said meal prep is a good way to get through class as well as use food bought at the grocery store, but that is obviously not possible if some of your food goes missing. Of course, there is always a time when you need to borrow an ingredient or snack because the previous Sunday afternoon you did not think everything through.

When someone "borrows" something of yours without asking and you suddenly cannot find what you planned on making, it is time to re-plan your meals. In an apartment full of college students it is definitely not rare something will go missing.

Adjusting your menu

If you are anything like me and you notice missing food, you will most likely try to plan some food hacks. Moving some of your favorite snacks into your room or your most necessary refrigerated items to the back of your designated shelf are always smart. 

Clean Up

espresso, coffee
Hannah Skriloff

After a long day of lectures, meetings, and walking around, the last thing you probably want to do is clean up. Just letting everyone know: if there is a full sink piled high with dishes, the other roommates will not be able to cook efficiently, and then will be stuck with the job of clearing out the dirty dishes.

Just be aware that when you live in an apartment, everyone should try and be considerate in terms of emptying the dish washer and taking out the trash.