A home is not complete without a kitchen, and a dorm room is not complete without kitchen essentials. There are no doubts that the college years are filled with newly found freedom and brand new experiences which will help shape your adult life. However, most college students don’t realize how much they have taken for granted until the moment they move into a dorm room and they are on their own for the first time in their lives.
Even if it is pretty common for college students to skip meals and rather make snacks throughout the day as, for many of them, it is the first time they can eat whatever they want. This is why freshmen are continuously warned about the “freshman fifteen.” However, if students are prepared to cook for themselves and not be afraid to try new things, they will find out that eating properly in college is possible and, in order to do this, they will need these kitchen essentials.
Even if this may seem pretty obvious, many college students forget about the importance of having their own silverware. We know that you might feel tempted to take home some of the silverware from the dining hall, but nothing is better than having your own set of silverware that you can know for sure that is only going to be used by you. Although you may feel tempted to buy discarded silverware, the chances are that when you will need them the most, you will have run out of them. Silverware is crucial to every single college student.
This is a must-have for every college student. This is how you can store mac and cheese leftovers so you can eat on the next day, this is how you filled out your mini fridge after visiting your parents for the weekend, and this is how you can prepare your meals over the weekend and keep them safe to eat throughout the week. If you ever thought that your mother has an obsession with tupperware, college will teach you not only that she was right to obsess over tupperware, but also that you should be as well.
3. Microwavable plates
Even though freshmen may not believe this, it is actually pretty common to be woken up in the middle of the night by the fire alarm because someone put non-microwavable plates in the microwave. If you want to make sure that you aren’t responsible for everyone standing outside their dorm room in the cold while they wait for firemen to show up, you definitely need to have microwavable plates. This is a necessity for every college student as a lot of the food that you are going to eat will most likely come from a microwave.
4. Water bottle
If there is anything that leaving on your own will teach you is the importance of staying hydrated. If you do not learn it the easy way, the chances are that you are going to learn the difficult way (UTIs and dehydration are real things). Not only your body needs water in order to function properly, but also your brain. The last thing that a college student needs is to get brain fog when they are in the midst of assignments, mid-terms, and finals. Most importantly, there are so many options out there for water bottles that it will be impossible for you to not find the perfect one or perfect ones.
Whether you like coffee or not, college will sooner or later force you to create the habit of drinking coffee on a daily basis. Even if you are more like a tea person, mugs are still a must. The truth is that mugs are multi-functional and they can be used as decoration, as plant pots, as bakeware, and even as conversation starters. Who knows? Maybe you will meet your next best friend while on your way to the Keurig machine and they like your mug so much they have to say something about it. The best thing about mugs is that one is never enough and you can just keep adding them to your collection.
6. A basic Set of Non-Stick Pans
Even though dining halls and cafeterias offer a variety of foods, sometimes, you might not be in the mood to eat anything that they have and you will not be able to go out to eat. So, this is when you decide to cook for yourself, but you want something different than microwavable mac and cheese, and you end up getting inspired to make your favorite meal. Every college student should have at least a basic set of non-stick pans not only to put their cooking skills at proof, but also to make their lives easier by not ruining their pans after a couple of uses. Whether you are good at cooking or not, you will be thankful for not wasting your time trying to get food pieces out of your pans.
7. Ramen cooker
During your college years the chances are that you will try every single ramen flavor that is out there and that you are going to eat so much of it that, once you are done with school, you will never want to see it ever again. Even though cup noodles are often a favorite among college students because they are easier to make, there are more ramen options out there compared to cup noodles. Therefore, a ramen cooker should be every college student’s dream. The truth is that a ramen cooker will cook your ramen faster than a pot and it also serves as a bowl; so, instead of getting a pot, a pasta fork, a bowl, and a fork dirty, you will only get the cooker and the fork dirty. This will save up a lot of your time!
8. Cooking Utensils Collection
Of course if you are cooking any sort of meals or simply eating, you will need your own collection of cooking utensils. What if you decide to bake cookies, cupcakes, or a cake for your roommates or the people who live on your floor? You will need a whisk, measuring spoons, and a spatula at least. You have no idea of how imaginative you can actually get when cooking in your dorm kitchen nor of how many people you can meet while cooking. The truth is that cooking utensils will always turn out to be useful whether you are making scrambled eggs or pasta.
9. Can Opener
Just like with ramen noodles and cup noodles, college students are often drawn to canned goods because they are easier and faster to cook. Even though you might like to cook and actually take your time to prepare your meals throughout the week, the chances are that you will be eating canned soup and spaghetti at least once a week. There is nothing worse than spending forever trying to open a can with a knife, scissors, or whatever sharp object you might have nearby and you will probably end up hurting yourself. For these reasons, it is crucial that you have a can opener and you might even be surprised at how often you will end up using it.
Even though this is a kitchen essential, some colleges have restrictions on whether or not students should be allowed to have one in their dorm rooms. Consequently, before you acquire a blender, make sure you know what the policy is for your college. Nevertheless, even though dining halls and cafeterias have countless options, they might not have smoothies and fresh juices on their menu. You probably won’t realize how much you miss having a blender until you are in college and you don’t have access to one. You can use a blender to cook a variety of things and it can be a replacement for a mixer, for instance. If you like to drink smoothies early in the morning (or any other time of the day), a blender is a must-have.
11. Mini Fridge
There is nothing worse than having to share a fridge. Even though you write your name on your foods and you hope that no one will touch them, there is no guarantee that they will be there when you want them. Being a college student is not cheap and you don’t want to risk others taking anything from you, especially food. When you have a mini fridge, you have control over what gets in and out of it and you get to decide whether or not you want to share your food with others. It is also very helpful because you won’t have to keep leaving your room just to get something to drink. Having a mini fridge is also great for storing beauty products and those you really won’t want to share with anyone else. Although a mini fridge is a luxury, it is necessary and it might actually help you save money.
12. Dish Soap and Sponge
One of the most important things about living in a dorm is to make sure that you keep the environment clean. It does not matter whether or not you do your dishes at home, if you get your dishes dirty in your dorm, no one else is going to clean it for you. Moreover, some dorms have rules that if dishes are left for too long in the sink, they are either thrown away or donated. Whether or not your dorm has a dishwasher, it is important to make sure that you are washing your dishes and that you have at least dishwasher detergent pods. Still, make sure that you have your own dish soap and sponge because, even if these are provided in the dorm, you want to make sure that you are using the kind of soap that you like and that the sponge will always be clean.
Even if you don’t like to cook, you will find that these kitchen essentials will make a lot of difference in your life. It is better to be prepared for every possibility than to have to continuously worry about things.