One of the most appealing parts of not living in the dorms is having my own kitchen. The past three years, I've missed not being able to make smoothies in the morning or bake muffins on the weekends. Michelle (my roommate) and I have a full kitchen to ourselves this year!
In my wildest fantasies, I pictured myself making tasty meals for myself every night. As the start of this school year drew closer, I realized how inaccurate of a vision that was: cooking takes a lot of time! I was able to purchase an off-campus meal plan that allows me to eat in the cafeteria about five meals per week -- something that I haven't been using quite as often as I should be. I also purchased a lot of freezer meals from Trader Joe's to make when I'm in a hurry.
I've discovered what works best is to make a big portion of whatever I'm making and to eat the leftovers for a few days. For example, if I make pork chops and rice, I would make enough for me to eat it for three days, which means the next two days I only have to reheat my dinner. Win! I also tend to cook more elaborate meals on the weekend, when I don't feel guilty or anxious about spending over an hour preparing a meal (which is a process I, for now, really enjoy).
Yesterday, I made acorn squash (from one of the last farmer's markets of the season!) stuffed with apples, cheese, onion, and turkey sausage. It was amazing. And I still have two full acorn squash for later this week, which I'll simply have to bake and fill with the toppings that are already cooked.
And, I still have a good chunk of meals to use later in the semester when finals make me want to die. Similarly to how this past week of midterms made me feel. But hey, I survived.