Living as a university student has its challenges. Do you sacrifice laundry money for petrol and just soak your clothes in the shower? Choose study or socializing over a good night’s rest? Fund steak for a night or ramen for a month? Decisions, decisions.
These challenges, however, can teach us useful life-hacks. For example, the close monitoring of Facebook events and a well-kept planner can lead to free meals every day of the week. The university campus hosts free internet, toilet paper, and for those clued in, showers. Making friends with anyone who lives near campus means a potential free parking space year-round.
That said, we don’t have to always be on the receiving end of handouts. Being aware of the need to score freebies means we can share and create those opportunities for others. While one person cannot finance a shared meal alone, a group of people can. “Fix, Freeze, Feast, Fiesta” was a Facebook event I monitored as my stomach rang for dinner.
Students with an afternoon to spare, contributing familial recipes, pitching in a few dollars for ingredients, and getting together to make it go around. Music played, laughter rang and the fiesta was upon us as we stirred and simmered in a student flat. Frying onions for my mother’s curry and hand-rolling meatballs proved to be a fragrant ice breaker. Conversation extended from life goals to music tastes to public transport and presidential elections. By the end of it, we had fixed meals which were split into single serve containers, taken what we needed and shared the rest around campus. Simple flavours that could be frozen until feasting.
It was nice to be on the other side of things for a change. Often it’s the sneaky life-hacks that get individuals through the week, but combining our forces allows for both a wider meal selection and the chance to serve and support others. Once again in the university world, food proved to be a fool-proof way of bringing people together. One thing’s for sure: as winter approaches down-under, my house will certainly be grateful to have those meatballs on-demand.