Posts Tagged ‘students’

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.

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A lot of stupid people

March 4, 2010

Disclaimer:  This is my opinion about goings on right now.  I do consider myself very liberal, but I also don’t tolerate stupidity in any form.

Right now, I’m a college student in California.  Namely, the Bay Area.  This means two things: 1.  We don’t get sunshine more than 5 times an entire semester, even if it is California and 2.  We have no money, and we’re gradually losing more and more classes and staff and facilities and funding.

Because of this fact, there’s a state-wide strike going on today for students and I think faculty.  I don’t know much about it because I’ve decided not to take part in the festivities for a few reasons.  Mostly, I came to college to educate myself about science and how to be a better artist.  Science can be a highly political subject, but for the most part it’s just geeks sitting in labs studying and reading and calculating, all things I like to do.  Art is extremely political, but on my side, I’d rather observe human interaction and record that, so the protest doesn’t even appeal to that side of me.
I also don’t agree with the tactics.  Last night, I got off work at 8 PM, went back to my dorm, and within a half hour of walking in the door and finishing my dinner, I heard quite a hoopla.  The protest, which was supposed to begin this morning at 7 AM, had kicked off at 9 PM last night.  Now, it wasn’t people with signs marching and speechifying, it was ridiculous party girls and hipster boys with a sound system blasting music and having a dance party on campus.  What are they protesting, that school isn’t fun enough?  It’s SCHOOL, it’s not supposed to be a party all the time and it’s supposed to contain some hard work.  And they ended up disrupting the people who have classes in the morning and live on campus, therefore royally pissing off people who could have been their strongest allies.  Basically, good students.

As I good student, I think I was hit by the budget cuts worst.  I want to graduate, and I put all my energy into school (if you can’t tell) and if I can’t get my classes, I can’t graduate or move forward with my degree.  Luckily, I’ve been smart about it and prioritized which classes are necessary and which are chaff, but other than that school is more difficult than it used to be.  We also have these wonderful things called FURLOUGH DAYS which are basically days where the entire campus is shut down because it was either do that, or cut more classes.  While this is a lesser of two evils, it means we have the same amount of material crammed into a shorter time, especially in the spring semester.

Back to what they did last night:  They antagonized the university police, who were only doing their job, and disrupted the sleeping patterns of their fellow students, in some cases there was vandalism and they blocked off some roads ar0und the school.  I do think that blocking off the roads, as long as it was done safely, was a good idea, but these students turned it into a street party instead of a protest.  What a bunch of frivolous shallow idiots!  Fight for your education!  Do take some control over the school, but don’t fight the people who just want to go to class and learn something.  Orchestrate teach-ins or something.  School is about education, and I do think the system is flawed, and I do think these students were an excellent example of what comes out of a flawed education system:  Idiots.  If that was their goal, to look ridiculous, they did a great job. However, if their goal was to show to the administration that they were upset, they didn’t quite reach that goal.

The next part of the strike is going to commence at 5 PM towards City Hall, in conjunction with a few other schools in the area.  So, even though I had planned for a night out downtown, I’m going to stay as far away from there as possible and stay in and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I don’t feel safe in that crowd, so I’m going to do my best to stay as far away from it as humanly possible.

I’ll keep you guys posted on the newest…news throughout the day.  Here’s hoping I can actually get to class.

I’ll add pictures once I get some of the protest.