Viewpoint: The cook controls the kitchen. Be the cook in your life.

By Maleesa Johnson

When I first arrived at college, my primary expectation toward food consisted of Ramen, dining halls and Easy Mac.

Anyone who has ever eaten at Penland can see why these thoughts contain an elevated level of gloominess. However, my outlook broadened as I made friends with people who lived off campus.

Their houses all had a magical room called a kitchen. The best part was that some of these friends were males and degradingly deemed it my job to rule that room.

I know— how sexist of them.

I made this work to my advantage. They paid for the ingredients, and I prepared the food as I saw fit. We ran into one major snag. I like all kinds of food, especially anything foreign and with a kick.

One particular friend’s taste bordered on bland. I never thought that the beginning of my college days would contain an element of cooking for a picky eater. That seems like such a mom-duty.

I endeavored to cook things that both I and The-Picky-One would enjoy. Considering I will eat almost any type of food, I was happy with whatever my friend chose.

However, it seems understandable that one might get tired of repeatedly cooking only with potatoes and shrimp. This wouldn’t have been so bad had the individual liked things like cilantro, avocado, tomatoes…anything really.

There was one specific word I had in mind: compromise.

This was thrown back at me with the reminder that he was paying for everything we ate. I combated that by saying I was laboring over a hot stove and crying over chopped onions.

Insert any argument that you’ve heard from a bickering old couple, and you get the picture. Oh, and I won in the end.

He still draws the line at mushrooms, but that is subject to change.

The point of that was to say that it is the cook that is ultimately in charge of what’s being created.

Look beyond the kitchen. If you are one of those students here at the grace of your parents’ money, don’t subject yourself to the idea that they have full reign over your education.

Do they have a significant say in it?

Yes, absolutely, but there is more to it than that.

There will always be aspects of life where people will feel subject to someone or something because of things like money. However, this can’t determine how to live life. If you want to throw in a few other ingredients and spice up life a little, go for it. So your parents made you come to Baylor because it’s their money? That’s great; just throw a few extra seasonings.

Do something more than making the degree you’re supposed to. Take interesting electives or get involved in things you will never be able to do once you graduate. Ultimately, you are the cook and it’s your decision what to do with the ingredients.

Besides, picky eaters are generally that way because they simply haven’t been willing to try different foods.

Maleesa Johnson is a freshman journalism major from Round Rock. She is a reporter for the Lariat.