An electric hot plate, a toaster oven, and some Goodwill pots & pans (no aluminum, it scorches & supposedly laces your vittles with aluminum). If you can afford it, the smallest fridge you can find.
Most state colleges have meal plans for monday thru friday, or all seven days. Trust me, by friday you’ll be ready to fry up your tennis shoes rather than face another slab of mystery meat loaf with strained vegetables and synthetic mashed potatoes.
OK, sorry Cookie, it usually wasn’t all that bad, but the other motivation if you are on a budget is that you can save a bundle by cooking for yourself on weekends. Some schools even have an option for just breakfast & dinner, that saves even more.
Safety sermon; most places have rules against this sort of thing, they get pretty shirty if you torch the building. Causing an electrical fire is very unlikely in a modern building, but if the lights dim when you fire up the hot plate, find another outlet or turn off everything else including the lights and the fridge (romantic candle lit dinner op). Don’t run both the hot plate and the toaster oven at the same time off one outlet. Look on the labels, you can usually find how many amps they pull. Most outlets are only good for 15 amps, 20 if you are lucky. DO NOT leave stuff like this on when you aren’t in the room. The most common way fires happen is to get too close to something flammable. Use your fingers; if something near your toaster oven feels hot, rearrange. Keep flammable liquids such as whiskey put away while you are cooking. You have 300 other people in the building, think how bad you would feel if you accidentally barbecued the cutie down the hall. Be paranoid about it and you’ll be OK.
Courtesy; use that fan that you cleverly brought to blow the smell out the window. You probably can’t feed all 300 of your neighbors, and it’s just downright mean to tease them with delectable smells unless you are going to come across. Besides, the Hindu next door might not be as crazy about pan fried steak as you are. If the wind won’t cooperate, you can minimize it by keeping your door closed. See the exception outlined below.
Tips; this is kinda kinky, but try baking a potato and a pot pie in the toaster oven. Split the potato, butter & salt to taste, and dump the pot pie over the whole mess. Boil up some frozen veggies on the side, and delve in.
Another angle; most cafeterias close around 7 PM. So by 10 PM you could probably get volunteers to write your master’s thesis for some of those frozen dough chocolate chip cookies out of the toaster oven. It’s a fantastic ice breaker and you’ll probably make some good friends, possibly even of the opposite sex. Oh, and you get to snack on hot cookies at midnight, with friends.