The Challenges of Self-Sufficiency: Apartment Living

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It’s 9pm on a Tuesday. “Can I cook a turkey burger in the microwave?” I hear my roommate ask me from the kitchen of our Rashford Hall apartment.

Though I’m not entirely sure the answer, I let her know it’s probably best to use the stove. I hear a sigh, and the sound of her putting the frozen turkey burger box back into the freezer. In hindsight, this exchange may represent the daily trials and tribulations associated with living in an apartment for the first time. Let’s be honest, when it’s a Tuesday night and you’re neck deep in readings, online quizzes, and paper outlines, will you spend 15 minutes cooking a turkey burger, or go for Easy Mac in the microwave? The answer is Easy Mac. Every time.

When beginning the school year, we upperclassmen spend time carefully picking a meal plan, weighing the options of eating in the dining hall or cooking in the apartment. In theory, going to the grocery store and being able to decide what you want to eat and when you want to eat it is great. However, in practice, it’s not so rosy. The freshman year problem is trying to figure out how to cook scrambled eggs in the microwave (yup, it’s possible). The sophomore year problem is trying to figure out how to give your body basic nourishment when the common kitchen items you find at home, such as a stocked spice rack and pasta sauce, are replaced by items such as “All Purpose Seasoning” and Alfredo sauce from a packet. Don’t get me wrong, having a kitchen, and a whole apartment for that matter, is awesome. But when Sunday Brunch at the dining hall is substituted with Cheerios, the sacrifice is clear.

A common phrase around my apartment is, “I don’t know how to adult!” Typical uses include but are not limited to: when one realizes she bought the wrong coffee filters but tries to use them anyway, when one is confronted with the task of crafting a resume, and when one burns the bottom of a pan to a crisp while cooking chicken. When did our parents learn to do this stuff and why did they send us off into the real world so terribly unprepared? After many a phone call home to Mom to ask if one should use vegetable or olive oil when baking cookies, the verdict is they learned in the exact same way we are learning now. Knowing that we are rightfully clueless isn’t very helpful, but it is a little comforting. So I’m just going to sit back in happy oblivion, and remember, when something is too embarrassing to call Mom about, Google is always there for me.

Posted in: Food & Dining, Housing

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