OBASEKI | A Brokie’s Guide to Having No Meal Plan

There is no hobby quite like cooking. There’s just something about working with your hands to create something you never had before. It’s a hobby that lends itself to boundless creativity, lacking many of the formulaic boundaries that make other hobbies boring. Yes, there is chemistry involved… but to refuse the experimentation that comes with diverging from formal recipes is to rob yourself of most of the excitement of the experience. 

With this excitement comes a result that cannot be replicated by most other hobbies. Cooking is unique in that both the process and the product of a session offer two different experiences; two different pathways to enjoying the hobby. Visual arts cannot offer this, as the finished product is one you’ve seen a thousand times before it’s finished. Sports cannot compare in that you can only enjoy the product of your hard work if recorded — and even then, it lacks the novelty of an entirely new experience. You are simply reliving the moments of the game. With cooking, creating your dish offers an entirely different experience from consuming it. When doing it with others, the pleasure of these experiences can make for some of your most memorable times in college, as it has for me. 

Admittedly, this is as much of an argument for picking up the hobby of cooking as it is a guide for how you can live without a meal plan. With no meal plan, you’re encouraged to learn how to cook, discover plenty of different diets, and develop a series of valuable skills for later adulthood. I encourage you all to at least try living one semester without a meal plan — explore the variety of foods that exist outside of Cornell’s dining halls, and develop some impressive skills in the process.