Food Survival Diaries
Hey guys, welcome to the new term! Today’s blog is a good one. I’m coming to your rescue by giving you some of my best tips and advice for avoiding starvation at university (especially during the stressful exam period)… stay tuned!
What may be a novel process for many before coming to university, was home turf for me. The concept of cooking had always been something I’d enjoyed from a young age, I always loved getting involved in the kitchen, whether it be helping my parents out with food prep or cooking itself. Coming to university made me realise this really was not the case for everyone…
Moreso than not, you’ll find that many people would’ve had no previous culinary experience before coming to university, so one of my best pieces of advice would be to look up some basic beginner meals before starting. This is such a quick process and requires no effort at all. To this day, if I’m ever feeling adventurous or bored, I’ll have a look through TikTok or Instagram to get recipe inspiration. I can guarantee most of you would have at least one of these types of social media, or you can even Google basic recipes… so there’s no excuses for not having access to recipes!
Another thing I wanted to touch on is food anxiety. I love food and I can rave about food and cooking all day, every day, and I enjoy having food-related discussions with my friends. For many people though, they may struggle with cooking/eating in front of other people, especially when you’re thrown into the deep-end in the first week of university. A lot of people may not be comfortable with this when surrounded by flatmates (who may be strangers at the time). It’s important to try and take steps to overcome this anxiety and fear and embrace the beauty of food and different cultures and cuisines. Food is a great stimulant for conversation and could be a good way of befriending your flatmates or making new friends. From my experience of first year, I was always the flatmate spending the most time in the kitchen cooking a whole range of foods, and I would always initiate conversations with other flatmates about our meals. I also really recommend cooking together with friends or flatmates, it’s a fun way of interacting with new people as well as keeping prices low as it’ll be split between you.
With exam season fast approaching, it is so easy for people to get into bad eating habits, whether this be skipping meals or eating excessive amounts of junk food. During a time as stressful and important as exams, it’s so important to have regularity within meals, as well as ensuring a healthy diet. The key here, is to plan ahead and be organised. I like to ‘meal prep’ in advance so I know what I’ll be cooking and eating each day, and more importantly, I’ll know when to make extra food for days that I’ll be rushed or need a quick meal. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then too! A healthy diet creates healthy mindsets – which is ultimately what you need to have during exam season.
The final thing I wanted to discuss is being savvy with your food shops. It sounds really depressing, but there’s nothing more that I looked forward to than going for a weekly or fortnightly food shop! Firstly, I want to emphasise the importance buying and eating FRESH foods. A lot of uni students get into the habit of relying on microwave meals, and not only is this unhealthy but it’s less economically sustainable in the long run. There are plenty more benefits to buying fresh foods as it is healthier and allows you to bulk-make meals, which I’ve found to be incredibly useful throughout the term. Secondly, I’d highly recommend signing up for memberships at all the supermarkets so you can get access to special offers and deals. I always think it’s helpful to make a list of things you intend to buy before going to the shops, and maybe even do some price comparisons between different supermarkets, because ultimately, nothing beats student bargains when you’re a student on a budget at uni!
I hope this has given you some good insight and tips into eating well at university. Feel free to check out my Instagram food blog @jessmanvsfood 😊
Remember: good food will always put you in a good mood!