From the Editors: It’s time to get cooking

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By Claire Guo and Audrey Kim, Co-Editors-in-Chief

Burnt pancakes. Too much salt in those boiled vegetables. A sink filled with dirty dishes.

Those are common scenes for some of us, but they also illustrate a lesson that personally, we both have been putting off for far too long.

Seniors, it’s time we learn how to cook.

No longer should we rely on Mom to make her classic lasagna or on the reliable kebab place down the street. We’ll be heading off to college next year, eager to explore what the world has to offer. But that also comes with independence and the ability to make good choices. While some can survive on instant ramen and bottled water for four years, it’d be infinitely more valuable and nutritious if we learned how to cook our favorite dishes ourselves, starting now. 

Away from home, many of us will start facing financial independence, imposed by allowances or by our money-conscious selves. (Knock knock. Who’s there? It’s student debt.) At college, dining halls and often pricey local restaurants will be our only options. Unless… we create a third, cheaper option, one we have complete control over. Imagine the power you could wield over your hungry, tired-of-dining-halls roommates. Sure, Janet can have some of your famous buffalo chicken wings. As soon as she unclogs the shower drain.

Learning how to cook will save us money in the long run, too. In 2011, New York Times writer Mark Bittman compared a meal for a family of four at McDonald’s to a home-cooked meal of roast chicken, potatoes and a salad. Based on prices in a Brooklyn grocery store, the McDonald’s meal was $14 more than the home-cooked meal. 

And there are far worse things to be doing in your free time. Not only is cooking a good way to relieve stress after a long day of school, but it also allows us to learn how to cook our own favorite foods and build healthy habits. No longer will we have to rely on our parents to make fried chicken and mashed potatoes. And unlike instant ramen and frozen Swedish meatballs, we have the benefit of knowing what exactly is in our food when we cook. 

And cooking is, let’s be real, the best way to impress a date in college. And you know that one kid who brought homemade brownies to class on a whim? The kid everybody thanked with mouths full of chocolatey goodness? You could be that kid.

Why anguish over college app decisions when you could be chopping onions instead? Wherever you go, the food you cook will still be cheaper, healthier and if you work at it enough, tastier. So let’s get cooking.