A Bookshelf Full of Rice

First impressions of OSU

I come from a family of cooks. My dad is a master at whipping up Chinese dishes, my mother can throw together a stew or soup better than anyone I know, and my little brother (who aims to become a chef one day) creates masterpieces with whatever is left in the kitchen. I dabble in cooking, this past summer having made family dinners more than once a week, so living in a dorm with no access to a working kitchen is a different experience for me.

I live in Drackett Tower where we have a well sized fridge and freezer unit as well as a standard microwave. Our four-person suite also has a bathroom and therefore I have a semi-personal sink at my disposal. This is my new kitchen. When I moved in, I was the third roommate to show up, my new friends had already begun to arrange their things into the desks wardrobes and shelves available to us. I was struck first by the amount of care each person took to set up their living spaces. Everyone had placed things a certain way, and there were common items each roommate had brought to school with them. However, I quickly noticed that I had brought the most food. Where my roommates have pictures, I have granola bars and peanut butter. In spaces where they have extra books, I have shelf-stable indian food and brown rice. Where there are beautiful pieces of jewelry, I am sporting a lovely rice cooker and ramen noodles. I also took up some of the fridge with a bottle of Sriracha and a water filter. Needless to say I came prepared to fend for myself if I didn’t like the food offered at OSU, or didn’t find enough healthy options that I enjoyed.

But I have found that there is a diverse spread of foods here. Other than traditional american, students can spend their blocks on Mexican, Greek, Thai, or the ever so popular Japanese (sushi). And that’s just on-campus food. I can find something new to eat every night. I still use my rice cooker though, 1 3/4 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice, to keep touch with something that I love. Being able to cook for myself has allowed me to bring a piece of what I grew up with to my new home at OSU. 

As the year progresses I plan to learn many new tricks to cooking in my dorm. With a microwave and rice cooker at my disposal, I will be able to create a balance between eating food through my blocks and still cooking for myself. I still have not gotten used to being on a meal plan, there’s something odd about getting food from someone behind a counter when I know I could get in that kitchen and just cook for myself. But the ease of going to the Union, Fresh Express, the Traditions Common Rooms, or anywhere else on campus is nice after a long day of dance. I am no longer worried about not liking the food here, and I’m excited to explore the many options I have at my fingertips.

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