Cooking is usually an endeavour only attempted upon arrival at university. But as we have catered halls, it may not need to be an endeavour undertaken until 2nd and 3rd year but even then could be avoided!
I was in catered halls for my 1st year and so I didn’t really start to cook until 2nd year whereupon it was agreed that my house mates and I would do an evening meal share. As there were 5 of us, we each took a day of the week and then left the weekends free to do our own thing. This arrangement works very well as cooking takes up less of your time, you get a variety of meals and it can also work out to be slightly cheaper.
However, I decided that I wanted to do my own cooking in 3rd year for various reasons including my desire for not always having vegetarian meals! (I enjoy having a variety of meals) University is also where most people seem to learn their skills at cooking so I wanted to do it on more of a continuous basis.
Cooking for one however, does have its problems. You probably only require half of every can you open and freezer space is often limited so you can’t store everything in there! 😉 The best way to overcome this is to plan meals that require the same ingredients so everything gets used up or to make double the quantity so it will last you for your next meal as well. This can alleviate the strain of cooking, especially in busier times. However, some people find cooking to be relaxing in stressful times so it’s really up to you what you do.
The other thing I enjoy about cooking for myself is the freedom it allows me in terms of what I eat and when I eat it. Those with very hectic evenings may struggle to be in a meal share.
Some people very much like to make it up as they go along and others like to follow a cookbook or maybe play around with a bit of both. I find a cookbook very useful when I am exploring new recipes but simpler meals such as spaghetti bolognese, I find I can just go ahead and make it without having to find a cookbook! 😉
If you’re not a very confident cooker or have never cooked before I would highly encourage you to give it a go. Uni is ideal as you can only be cooking for yourself so if it goes wrong you won’t feel like you’ve let anyone down. Cooking very much improves with practice and it is nice to see how both you and your house mates grow in confidence through the year or years. If you feel confident enough after some practice why not try a mini come dine with me? My house mates and I tried that and we decided we wouldn’t score each other but instead would just enjoy 5 very tasty meals!