It’s usually messy, awkward, hurried and sometimes we do it with our bare hands. In college, it’s an unavoidable reality: whether you’re eating cold pizza straight out of a cardboard box or pawing at Joy-Yee’s leftovers, student dining is anything but classy. While the food you eat during your four years here is unlikely to be all that special, healthy or digestible, the way you chow down could make your experience that much more interesting. The following ideas, inventions and suggestions can add class or convenience to your eating experience. Even if it rarely diverges from Ramen.
For the on-the-go eater
Pen cap cutlery
I’ve recently discovered the importance of always having a pen. Nothing is worse than running to a lecture or interview only to find your presence is totally obsolete since you’re unable to jot anything down. But now having a pen with you always is doubly important: pen cap cutlery. The functional parts of knives, forks and spoons have been fused to plastic ball-point pen caps, so all you do is attach them to any pen, allowing the writing utensil to double as silverware. A food critics dream, it’ll also allow you to multi-task during lecture. Or if, like me, you rank eating above learning at any and all costs, maybe it’ll help you remember to bring a Bic to class.
If you love to drink but hate to sip (or to look anything but classy doing it)
The Bierstick and Sommelier Wine Glass
A substantial portion of most college students’ time, and calorie consumption is spent not on well-balanced meals, but on beer. But if you want the fun of being drunk but don’t have the time to get there, never fear: the Bierstick is here to help. With a high tech syringe-type design, it allows you to shoot two beers down your throat in two seconds, with a level of sophistication far above beer bongs and shotgunning. Now, for the drinker who likes to savor while getting smashed, the Sommelier Wine Glass lets you fit in with your compatriots—but you’ll still be a little bit classier. And isn’t that really all that matters?
Just because you’re living off Ramen doesn’t mean your diet’s boring
Rachel Ray wouldn’t ever set foot in a kitchenette (dreadful lighting), and Paula Deen probably wouldn’t even fit inside. Ergo, there’s no place for elaborate meal preparation in dorm life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t explore outside your meal plan. Behold the glory of an entire website devoted to recipes based off of those door-stoppers we all pretend to enjoy. Taking a simple, possibly cardboard-based meal to new heights, they offer suggestions for Ramen meals, desserts and snacks. Far more useful than my ideas on how to make it more multi-purpose, which mostly involved using its noodle bricks as a bludgeoning device.
Because sometimes eating spaghetti is hard. And often it’s embarrassing
Spaghetti is good. Spaghetti is simple. Spaghetti, however, is hard for me to eat without making a mess of myself. If you’re one of the many, like me, plagued by an inability to slurp noodles daintily, and especially if you’re trying the Ramen tips from above, then the Calamete fork is here to help. It looks like a gnarly but essentially basic silver fork, but its simple adaptations are designed specifically for twirling and slicing spaghetti into bite-size twists. Now if you can just get past the awkwardness of explaining why you have to use a special spaghetti fork, you’ll be fitting in with the other kids in no time.
To help you keep whatever you cook
Anti-theft lunch bag
If any of you have met the challenge of preparing your own food or have mastered stealing from the dining halls, you know the anguish of losing a hard-earned meal to a hungry roommate, friend or co-worker. Once you’ve gotten yourself settled with all the right foods, finding your anticipated snack gone is enough to make you want to strangle your nice, friendly roommate who didn’t think you were gonna eat that and was really hungry and will totally pay you back. Enter the anti-theft lunch bag an ordinary sandwich bag with translucent green splotches printed on. Once a food item is placed inside, the green splotches blend perfectly to create the illusion of gross, I’ll-leave-that-for-her-to-deal-with mold. A deceptive sandwich always tastes that much better.