When I look back to the last ten or so years of my life to see what made change made the most impact on me in a positive way, I would have to say that learning how to cook totally changed my perspective in many ways.
It made me healthier
This is the obvious one, right? By expanding my cooking skills beyond boiling boxed flakes of potato or pouring a jar of pre-made sauce onto cooked pasta, I began to make meals vegetable-first, greatly changing my diet to a fresher, less calorie-dense version of itself.
It saved me money
By skipping the processed foods, the pre-prepared foods, and the loads of takeout, I save a substantial sum of money every month.
It made me more organized
You would think cooking everything yourself would be very time consuming, and it can be if you don't think about it beforehand. By meal planning and prepping, I can have all of my ingredients for the week prepared in one afternoon, saving me lots of time and stress.
It enhanced my relationships
If I hadn't learned how to cook, I would've never gained the confidence to show people how amazing vegan food can be, through the many dishes I love sharing with friends and family. Before, when I sulked sitting by the animal-product-filled buffet table at a family party, I felt I couldn't connect with anyone there. Now, I bring my own dishes and mix them in - it sparks a positive conversation and lets me connect with my loved ones in new ways I couldn't have before. I wrote a lot more here on how veganism changed how I communicate.
It turned a chore into something way more fulfilling
Before, cooking was a huge inconvenience and I would've much rather just stop at the drive thru than dirty all of my dishes just to make a meal that wasn't that good. By taking the steps to learn how to make my cooking better, our kitchen is now a place of exploration. With music playing and drinks being poured, it turns into a social event, rather than a dragging, dull chore.