Kitchen Disasters

Would you expect anything else from college students?

By: Macie Rasmussen


Illustration by Selena Philaphandeth

Illustration by Selena Philaphandeth

Burning holes in rags, leaving plastic microwave covers in the oven, forgetting a piece of pita bread on the stove and almost burning the house down: these are all typical cooking experiences for those of us recently living on our own.


College is the perfect time to pull out all the stops in the kitchen. Your parents aren’t there to scold you, the smoke alarms in your run-down home probably don’t work, and your roommates can’t complain too much because they’ve done some questionable things, too. 


“I forgot to add water to ‘just add water’ mac n’ cheese,” one sophomore who preferred to remain anonymous admitted. “There was smoke everywhere, and the plastic melted.”


“I was in the shower, and I suddenly smelled smoke,” junior Rachel Kukiela said.


Kukiela had put cookies (the “nice kind”) in the oven when this happened. She couldn’t let them burn, so she ran to the kitchen without grabbing a towel. 


Senior Mitchell Walstad recalls a dramatic incident in which his roommate filled a pan with oil on the stove, attempting to deep fry popcorn shrimp. He was sitting in his living room with noise cancelling headphones when he heard his roommate yell, “Mitchell!” 


“And I thought, ‘oh gosh,’” Walstad said.


He ran into the kitchen and there were flames up to the ceiling. Because Walstad had been an Eagle Scout, he knew that throwing water on the fire would just make it worse. He set the pan on the linoleum floor, found baking soda, and emptied the entire box onto the flaming pan. The incident left burn marks on the floor and walls -- goodbye, security deposit! Multiple neighbors came down to ask if everything was okay.


When you’re in college, cooking is never, “okay.” 

Wake Mag