So, it’s come to this.
You’ve made it this far on Postmates, cafeteria food, and instant noodles, but no longer!
You want a life that’ll go from sad college student to one that Antoni from Queer Eye and his hot Polish-Canadian bod would be proud of.
And if you’re still not convinced, here are ten reasons that should help get you across that line.
1. You Won’t Die
I’m not exaggerating when I say that cooking is a survival skill. Now, it’s not 2012, so I’m not going to try and tell you you’ll need this in the event of a post-apocalyptic zombie hellscape… but I am saying, it wouldn’t hurt to be able to do more than reheat canned food.
However, if you were ever in an emergency situation, knowing how to feed yourself is a huge part of not only keeping yourself from starving but also keeping your strength up.
Maybe college or your twenties isn’t an “emergency” situation but if you’re over living off of top ramen and cereal, then it may as well be.
2. Save $$$
Its no secret that eating out adds up. Even if you live in the dollar menu, you can still wind up spending five dollars on something that you could make many times over for the same price at home.
Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t or shouldn’t ever eat out—by all means, treat yourself, hang out with your friends. Just don’t let it be a habit that’ll let you go broke. If you can eat at home 5/7 days of the week, you’ll be better off.
3. It’s More Than A Hobby
But if you learn to cook it can be a really rewarding hobby, too. For all of us who have spent countless hours watching cute aesthetic-y Tasty videos on YouTube, or found ourselves being couch judges, snarking about “rookie mistakes” made during cooking or baking competitions, this can be a game-changer.
“How hard could it be?” we scoff while scarfing down Hot Cheetos.
Well, there’s no time like the present to find out. And (for better or for worse) there’s no Paul Hollywood or Gordon Ramsay in your kitchen.
4. Late Night Solution
If you’ve ever wound up starving after normal dinner hours it can be tempting to try to shell out anywhere from $7-20+ to get some good fried food in your system…
But here’s the thing: when you learn to cook you don’t have to use Uber Eats. Keep some burger patties on hand, and even something as basic as oven fries, and whatever toppings/bun you like. Sure, cooking after eleven may make your roommates jealous…but you could always offer them some.
5. Snack Better
Okay, we’ve all had our share of “depression meals.” A half a jar of peanut butter here, a box of Triscuit there…
Did you actually eat breakfast today or did you have iced coffee? (That’s right, I’m asking the real questions.)
But even if you are going through a really difficult or busy time in your life, there are ways to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need (along with that iced coffee, I got you.)
6. Impress Your Friends
I can remember when I first studied abroad, I was at a university with other students where there wasn’t a meal plan. This definitely separated the ‘men’ from the ‘boys’ (if you catch my drift).
One girl only ate takeout the entire time we were there. I know, because I lived with her.
There was a little student grocery store below us that also served pre-made food, like pizza or burritos which could be a godsend if you were starving, but one kid I knew ate a pizza every day.
It may sound like he was living the dream, but I promise you it wasn’t that good. It really wasn’t.
If you can do the most basic type of cooking, hell, if you can heat up some yummy pre-made meals from Trader Joes or your local grocery store you’ll impress someone…maybe even yourself.
7. Win Someone’s Heart
Going off of the impress-your-friends step, this is also a really good way to attract a potential S/O.
They say the key to a man’s heart is in his stomach, but boy if that isn’t true of all broke college students.
It’s the little things. Add a little Italian sausage to your red sauce when you have pasta. Put bacon in your green beans. Add vinegar or lemon pepper to your tuna or chicken salad. Send your bae to flavortown.
8. Become A Pro Meal-Prepper
When you learn to cook, there’s one little solution can help the age-old cooking-for-one dilemma. (You know the one, where you make too much food and it goes bad before you remember to eat it?)
Get plasticware. Invest in an Instant Pot. Any crockpot will do, but when you get one you’ll find so many opportunities will open up to you. You can make the next week’s lunch or dinner on the weekend so that you don’t actually have to cook when you’re too tired to. You can put meat or potatoes or rice or really anything in there and it’ll do all the work for you.
9.Contribute To The House
Another thing that can go along with the meal-prepping idea is sharing the burden of cooking with your roommates. If you have similar tastes and are down, you can split a lot of things down the middle. Grocery costs, dishes, and more. You cook Saturday, they clean up after, trade spaces Sunday.
It’s a great way to bond with your roomies, and a way to give yourself some much-needed community without having to go out.
10. Enrich Your Life
It may sound cheesy, but learning to cook is a really rewarding experience. Knowing that you can take care of yourself and your family and friends is something you can and should take pride in.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and to begin to try things you’ve always wanted to do. Try family recipes, try things that look gorgeous but outside of your skill level. It’s okay if it’s not perfect, especially the first few times. Practice may not make perfect, but (as a violin teacher of mine used to say) it makes permanent. Its all about reinforcing what you want in your life, doing it as many times as necessary to make it second nature to you.
And as the little floating chef in Ratatouille told us, anyone can cook. Yes, even you.