A Taste of Grad School

Home cooked dinner.

There ain’t nothing better. (especially if your roommate cooks it for you and it’s ready when you get home :)

Yes, I’m well out of college and supposed to be cooking for myself a lot, but somehow graduate school has brought me back to the dark ages in terms of simple functions like cooking. (If you consider the dark ages complete with tv dinners and a microwave.)

To me right now, healthy, balanced, home cooked meals are like ice cream. They are not a necessity, but they are a delight, and make me feel happier inside after eating them. I think it’s important to cook for yourself at least occasionally while in school to stay balanced. This means making it a priority every once in a while. (over physics homework? yes, sometimes even that.)

Here are some ideas for cooking while in grad school:

-Go to Stanley’s. (or find another local, cheap fruit and veggie market) The veggies are so cheap that you’ll get mad at every other grocery store for overpricing you your whole life.

-beans, grains and more beans. They are not too difficult to make. Sometimes you have to soak the beans which is a pain, but you can make a lot of them at once and use them as the base for a whole week’s worth of meals! Just don’t eat too many at once.

-if you have to make nachos (and everyone HAS to make nachos sometimes), add some tomatoes, peppers, corn or other veggies on there. It makes them more delicious!

-eating fruit can be a chore. Make it a habit to eat fruit for breakfast and dessert. Always carry around a banana or apple (i like to bring almonds or other nuts and raisins along with it to make my apple more exciting). That way, you can avoid the vending machine when your tummy rumbles.

-always bring your lunch. ALWAYS bring your lunch. Not only is it cheaper, it’s usually healthier. Give sandwiches a chance. They can be formatted for your specific likes and dislikes. Sandwiches are like works of art- making them is a very personal experience and a creative experience. Use whatever is in the fridge. One thing that I’ve learned time and again in my life is that when you put avacado on a sandwich, it makes the sandwich more delicious by at least 100%.

-last but not least, find the free food on campus. There is always something there. Whether it’s a booth giving away free candy, a gallery opening serving wine and cheese, or a lecture in the library that you have to sneak into and pretend you are a big fan of the speaker (shhh, i didn’t say that), campus food is usually around. And there’s usually extra, so you don’t have to feel too guilty. In fact, you’re helping them out!

Alright, those are my tips after years of experience of being in school. I hope they help!

Picutre of author

About Claire Shapleigh, Biomedical Visualization

Hi, my name is Claire and I'm in my second year of the Biomedical Visualization MS program at UIC. It's a combination of art and science, and it's pretty fun. So far I've dissected a human body and learned how to draw in 2D using a computer AND my hand, and I'm about to learn how to 3D model. Holler at me if you have any questions about the program!

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