Posts Tagged ‘san francisco’

How to Be a Poor College Student

September 16, 2012

I’m what is lovingly referred to as a fifth year senior, and I’m fine with that.  What I’m not fine with is that I have little to no money, but that’s what comes with college.  It’s amazing how quiet life is when you can’t afford to go out.  Like tonight, it’s just me, my textbooks and Parks and Rec.  I love Parks and Rec.  I feel for Leslie Knope, she’s kind of my soulmate.

Now here’s what I’m going to get to the point my post:  how to ENJOY being a poor college student.  I know it’s a strange kind of sentence, but it’s a skill that needs to be shared.

1.  Read.

You’re in college.  Studying is like 80% of your job anyway.  But while you can’t afford a lot of things, access to reading material is pretty simple to come by.  First of all, you’re reading right now.  (MIND=BLOWN.)  There’s also this fancy place called the library which has free books, both in paper and digital form.  Often there’s a waiting list for the more popular books through digital library downloads, but there’s always an amazing selection.

2.  Go fly a kite.

Go outside, do recreational things.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a few frisbees stuffed in the bottom of their closet, or like a four square ball or a basketball.  I, myself, have a wonderful kite wedged between my freebie frisbees.  I’ve had a few different awesome beach days with friends, bon fires and my kite.  The hardest thing for me to do is to get out of my house, but having toys makes it better.

3.  Cook.

The best way to stretch a buck is to make a big meal that will go a looooooooong way, and it’s wonderful to have food that tastes good when you’re low on funds.  It’s a weird kind of comfort.  Here’s a suggestion:  Food Network has a ton of food that is like take out, but it ends up being leftovers for a good amount of time.  I also just enjoy cooking in general, and it’s something to do.  Turn on some music, feel like Alton Brown and get ‘er done.

4.  Make something.

Draw, write (like I’m doing…), craft, paint, sculpt.  It’s pretty easy to use stuff that you already have to make something kind of cool.  You can always cut up a t shirt that you have but are not overly fond of and make something out of it.  Paint is cheap, paper can be cheap, glue is cheap, and it feels amazing to make something.  Knitting, while fun and an excellent way to make useful pieces, can be expensive if you’re a fiber snob like me, so enter at your own risk.

5.  Be friendly.

All the above are made infinitely better with the help of friends.  Misery loves company is an awful phrase, and I prefer to think of it in a more positive light, like I have amazing people in my life and I want to have fun and I have fun with them.

Well, there it is.  This is how I enjoy myself as a poor, sad college student.  Yes, they are all straightforward and pretty cliche, but they work.  Look at me, I am a fair happy and up beat person, even though I’m studying physics, which is another way of saying I have a high potential of being an alcoholic. AS IS LIFE.


Gardening for Physicists! Part 1

June 13, 2011

Just recently, I moved.  I know, it’s a thing that most adults do once they reach a certain age.  What’s interesting about this move was I moved from a decent sized apartment near my school to a house near the beach.  I never thought in my life that I actually would live on the beach.  I mean, on the beach if I became homeless, but I can see the beach from my window right now.  And even though it’s San Francisco, the sun is shining.
That brilliant shining sun makes me think of something:  I want a garden.  I have my own front yard, so I want to do something with it.  Now, as previously stated, I live in San Francisco by the beach, so the soil in the front yard is fairly sandy.  I called my grandfather for assistance, because he’s a former farm boy from Minnesota, and he really did help a ton.  He mentioned I should grow peas or lettuce or swiss chard, because those tend to thrive better in the cold, and it rarely gets above the 70’s this close to the water.  I have a couple options for growing these plants.  I can either plant them in the ground in this 10×10 plot in front of the house, or plant them in pots.  There’s pluses and minuses to both situations.  In the ground would be, superficially, cheaper than going out and buying the pots on top of the plants and seeds and stuff.   Unfortunately, the house has quite the snail problem.  I thought that the feral cats would help clear that up for some reason, but no.  Grandpa Ole said to use pesticides, but I had hoped to grow the vegetables as chemical free as possible.  (The scientist inside me laughs at that statement.  All things in life are due to chemical reactions.  Chemicals are not just those powders that we buy in the stores to kill pests, they’re in the soil, in the air and part of the water.  Everything has chemical reactions, so growing chemical free is impossible.  Sorry, science joke for me.)  That’s where the pots come in, but I don’t know how well they’d prevent the snails from feasting upon the fresh fruits of my labor.


My current plan is to do what I do best: read.  I found a couple different articles in Sunset magazine online and there’s also Make magazine, and I live near enough to a library to bike down sometime.  I know what you’re thinking, I’ve gone native.  And the answer to that question is no.  The actual reason is the whole guiding factor behind this whole endeavour, besides the thrill of making something useful and beautiful.  I also want to have the pride of knowing that I grew something.  Period.  I’m not widely known for my green thumb, although I did have one hell of an herb garden growing up.

Basically, it all comes down to the fact that I’m cheap as hell.


Well, I’ll keep you posted!