- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 21 September 2016
- Written by NICOLE SEITZ | STAFF WRITER
When we start college, we are excited to make new friends and have a good time in a new place; however, you slowly start to realize when you get to college you have to start “adulting,”. Our parents are not around anymore to do our laundry, cook meals for us, or buy us what we need. These college years often challenge young people and really put their “adulting” skills to the test. Finances are one of the hardest things for a college student to maintain and get a real grasp of. Many students are taking a full class load and do not have time for a job.
Or, even if they have a job, they cannot work as many hours since they’re juggling a million responsibilities. Often college students have to decide between buying textbooks, purchasing food, or having a social life. While it may seem obvious to choose food, college students want to experience college to the fullest while still getting acceptable grades and not collapsing of starvation.
The classic joke is that the college student’s diet consists of only Ramen noodles. While that may not exactly be the case, there is some truth to it. Andrew Jackle, a senior music industry student, said “Freshman and sophomore year especially, I ate so many microwavable meals because I would just get tired of the dining hall sometimes.” Students cannot afford and often do not even have the resources to make good quality meals.
Kelly Currie, and senior art student advised, “Whenever I can, I try to go home and get leftovers from my mom just so I can have a good meal.” We all know that at one point or another, we have gone to an event on-campus just because they offered free food. Currie continued, “I remember last year I really wanted to go to the ‘Paint Night’ on campus in the Rebecca Stratford Student Center, but I wasn’t sure if I could make it… until I heard there was free food, then I was totally in!”
Not only is finding good food a problem for broke college students, but having to compromise things and give up others is an issue.
Jackle said, “It’s been years since I have bought new clothes because given the choice between new clothes and food, I choose food. I can’t function by putting clothes in my mouth!”
“As an art student I spend so much money on art supplies that I end up spending a lot less money on going out,” Currie explained. “And I use Groupon whenever I can.”
Dr. Stuart Rosenburg, Ph.D, an Associate professor in the management & decision sciences department, advises students that it’s always helpful to make a budget. “This helps people to discipline themselves in their spending patterns, regardless of whether they have a lot of discretionary income or very little,” Rosenburg explained.. “The natural inclination for people is to spend beyond their means. People typically want more than what they have, so keeping a budget helps to control this.”
“Students in particular are probably best advised to watch their impulse buying. Sometimes they might purchase something that they don’t really need or even want. If they can keep this in check, they’re more likely to be smarter consumers,” concluded Rosenburg.
So, if college students can create a budget, get leftovers from their parents every now and then, and make sure to attend on-campus events, they can survive college while broke.
IMAGE TAKEN from blog.credit.com.