There is a moment in life that I think every student agrees is one of the proudest moments of their lives. It is the moment that cements their passing into adulthood. The moment when they are certain that they have left their teenage days behind. It is that first meal they have cooked by themselves, all from scratch (plus points if it is a meal that mum used to make). Proudly, we will capture it in an image and show it to our mothers, or fathers, that they may see how capable we are. (Then our parents, from hundreds of miles away, having only seen a picture, proceeds to tell us we probably haven’t put in enough onions but nice try.)
Two years ago, when I had just arrived in this country to begin a new chapter of my life as an international student, bearing the expectations and responsibilities that come with being a student sponsored by taxpayers’ money, my main concern was sustenance. My earliest memories with my housemates were the 4 of us huddled around the stove top. Has the chilli cooked enough? Do we add onions in now? Later? The garlic? How much is a pinch of salt? The first dish we ‘properly’ cooked, though in retrospect it is laughable, was vegetable fried rice. Two years on, there has been much improvement.
To the new students, it has been well over a month and I should think you should be starting to get the hang of cooking for yourself right about now. As you may have realised, it will involve a lot of experimenting, and a lot of trials and errors. It is completely normal to set off the smoke alarm at least once. Some days you just won’t be bothered so it’s completely fine to order takeaway in this case. And remember, that mum, or dad, is only a call away. I bid you good luck in your culinary adventures! And all the best in your studies too!