Welcome to The Leader Freshmen Seminar. We know you freshmen are undergoing a huge transition in your lives, and we’d like to soften the blow by giving you everything you need to know, that your actual freshmen seminar class won’t teach you. Check into theleader.us every Tuesday morning as we continue the freshmen seminar series throughout the semester. Like our Facebook page to stay up-to-date with all things Leader.
College can be a blast, but sometimes it sucks living off the government cheese AKA financial aid. Follow all of these steps and you’ll have a little extra cash to spend on the important stuff next spring semester: booze.
1. Avoid breaking the law
This takes the number one spot on the list because it has the greatest potential to not only cost a lot of money, but also screw up your college career. On campus parking tickets suck. If you get one, pay it before you get a late fee. (You can take advantage of free parking from 4:30pm to the next morning, just don’t oversleep.)
If you get caught drinking on campus, you’ll probably have to take an alcohol class which costs money, plus a bunch of other annoying sanctions if your res life director hates you like mine did. Get buddy-buddy with your RA’s. If you’re drinking off campus, stay on the grass! Open containers are against city ordinance, so you’ll get stopped by the cops and this will cost you even more. If you’re going to smoke a bowl, for God’s sake do it off campus in a house with people that aren’t stupid. Avoid cars and the dorms like the plague. (Here’s how to get away with drinking in the dorms like a pro).
2. Wait to purchase your textbooks
If you don’t already know by now, college textbooks are pretty much a scam. The on-campus bookstore is owned by a company called Follet which, according to Forbes, is a company valued at $2.5 billion and is ranked #178 for America’s largest private companies. Unless your class requires an access code or other online materials, it’s fairly easy to get by without purchasing books. Your best bet is to e-mail your professors before classes start and ask if the textbook is something you will absolutely need to pass the class, and borrow the book from a friend if needed. The off-campus bookstore next to Chuck’s offers discounted rentals, and it’s also possible to find some textbooks online for free (do this at your own risk, this is illegal).
3. Cut back on your meal plan
While it may be tempting to shell out the extra cash for an unlimited meal plan, it’s actually pretty difficult to get the full value out this. The cafeteria food is pretty much low-grade prison food, so choosing a seven-meal or ten-meal per week plan will save you money in the long run, as well as afford you some extra dining dollars to eat in the Memorial Union. Also, make sure to spend all of your dining dollars! You won’t be getting back any unused dollars.
4. Get your BTS haircut at the HHA
Back to school means getting some new fits and a fresh cut. The Hays Hair Academy offers haircuts at a discount, and sometimes has days dedicated to college students looking to save a couple of bucks. The results are a roll of the dice since the haircuts are provided by students, but overall I’ve had decent experience with this.
5. Take advantage of student discounts
There’s a myriad of online discounts for online and local businesses, granted you’d save more by cutting these expenses out altogether. Spotify and Amazon Prime offer student discounts, which will save you money on entertainment and ordering various products. A whole slew of local restaurants and businesses offer discounts around Hays, so it doesn’t hurt to ask about student discounts whenever you’re spending money.
Check out last week’s Freshmen Seminar: How to drink in the dorms like a pro.