I rarely do anything without doing something else – I was born to multi-task. I never just do homework, just eat or just walk around campus…I do homework while listening to music, eat while catching up with friends and walk while texting/emailing/checking Facebook. Only half is my personal choice to spend the semester in this permanent state of multi-tasking, the time schedules that I – or really all of us – keep in college seem to encourage this superhuman ability to do everything at once. The more things you can manage to do as quickly as possible leave you with more time to do more things. We’re left with a self-perpetuating cycle that is hard to break and is enacted around us. While we students believe that a professor is thinking solely about students in the context of their own classes, which translates into what seems like (and oftentimes is) an exorbitant amount of work for one class, there is more going on here. They instinctively know that students are going to multi-task to get the work done (because students always do all the readings…silly you for thinking otherwise). We’ve been trained to multi-task, and that’s what got many of us to college in the first place. Essentially, in this scheme of the collegiate world, if you’re not multi-tasking, you’re doing it wrong, or at least are not reaching your trained potential, It’s not the prettiest picture of life on the Hilltop.

As midterms pile on and the Iron Curtain that is finals week quickly approaches, the pressure to get all your work done increases so greatly that multi-tasking seems like the only way to make it through without having a meltdown à la Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids. Sadly, I can’t destroy gigantic marriage cookies or knock over French chocolate fountains to release stress, so I turn to cooking. As compared with most of my day when my brain is overloaded with a variety of information and my attention is split between four different activities, when I’m cooking it requires my complete attention, at least if I’m doing it correctly. For twenty minutes to a half hour, I can completely focus on the one task at hand: preparing something delicious. If you run off to complete another serious task while cooking, those vegetables will burn, that oil will splatter and that chicken will dry out before you know it. You’ll be left with something annoying and messed up, contributing to, instead of alleviating, stress. You’re better off if you focus.

This week, if you’re stressed and need a break, try de-stressing with some hearty comfort food. Give it the attention it deserves, and it will taste better than any heart-shaped marriage cookie you can find.

Stress-Free Sloppy Joe’s

You will need:

2 tablespoon of olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 small onion

1 small bell pepper

2 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 cup of ground beef

½ cup of red wine

4 slices of mozzarella cheese

4 bread rolls- I recommend ciabatta

1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Finely chop the onion, garlic and pepper. Add them to the oil and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and brown.

2. Add in the beef and cook for 5 minutes, or until beef is brown on all sides. Next, add the tomato pasta, wine and some salt and pepper to taste. Let this pan simmer for 10 minutes before removing from heat.

3. Preheat the broiler in your oven. Cut the rolls in half and brush the insides with some olive oil. Toast lightly under the broiler. Put equal amounts of sauce on the bottom half of the rolls.

4. Put the slice of mozzarella on top of the sauce and top off with the bun.

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