I’m starting a small series of tips for incoming freshman/freshers to university this year, covering everything from surviving freshers week to what to bring for your university bedroom. I’ll be uploading this series a few times a week for the next two weeks to hopefully give you all the information you need to get yourself ready for university!
1. Bring a big bag of pasta and rice
They’re the base of pretty much every meal you will make if you have no experience in cooking. I was lucky enough to have spent an extra year at home before uni, doing further studies, after my A Levels and so I spent that year learning how to cook for myself. If you want to try and learn how to cook a few meals before uni my best advice is to opt for vegetarian meals because 1. you get a lot of great nutrients from them, 2. you’re less likely to poison yourself if you get it wrong and 3. veg is so much cheaper than meat. If you’re looking for great vegetarian based recipes to use then I’d definitely suggest checking out Amuse Your Bouche and OF COURSE My Own Recipes.
2. Keep Extra Cutlery in your Room
This probably sounds a bit weird but I promise it makes sense. Basically when you live with people in halls your stuff “goes missing”, especially cutlery. So, when someone first steals your cutlery (because it WILL happen) make sure you keep extras in your room so that when it happens you wont be left without any.
3. Avoid Campus Shops
As convenient as it is to take a quick trip to the campus shop for ingredients, try to avoid it if you’re on a budget. The produce is just so overpriced as well as there being such a small range of food and drinks that you’d just be wasting your money. If you can, hunt out your nearest cheap supermarket e.g. Aldi or Lidl. I know they don’t have the same appeal as the more high end supermarkets but you have to remember that you don’t have a lot of money and if sacrificing big labels for own brands means you can afford to eat a proper meal everyday then I think its worth it.
4. Get your Parents to Send you Off with Frozen Home-Made Meals
Sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking for yourself, you’ve had a long day of lectures and the idea of ordering takeaway becomes more and more tempting (if it wasn’t for your total lack of money). In this moment of need you just wish your parents could come and cook you something nice and so in comes the frozen meal from home. You can ask your parents to cook you some of your favourite meals and then defrost and microwave/oven them for a lovely taste of home when you’re missing it most!