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Common Struggles Students Face Without a Job

School is hard enough to balance in your life along with other responsibilities. You realize you hit rock bottle when you open the fridge and laugh at yourself because you’re out of food. That’s college for you… that’s how it feels to be broke. Although your pockets are crying for spare change, here are some alternatives you can take being unemployed.

1. Two Meals, One Swipe


If you have a meal plan at Watterson or Tri Towers, get used to seeing your balance drop. It’s kind of sad knowing you might run out of swipes right before Thanksgiving. That’s how I felt when I swiped in at Watterson and only had 23 meals left. If you’re in this situation, all you have to do is eat your lunch and stay in the dining center until dinner time. That’s right, do all your homework and grab a plate and eat like it’s your last meal. You’re paying for it, so take advantage.

2. Go Window Shopping


Going shopping with your friends is fun when you have money to spend. It’s okay to be a window shopper. Don’t you just love seeing outfits in your favorite store window? You’ll probably grab several outfits and try them on in the dressing room, but you realize you can’t afford any of the clothes so you take pictures for memories. One day you’ll have the money to buy that outfit you’ve been dreaming of. Too bad it won’t be available.

3. Bring the Movies to You

When you’re broke, your friends will call you to ask if you want to go to the movie theater. You can certainly talk about how that’s a great idea and how you’ve been looking forward to this opportunity all semester. However, there are plenty of free movie websites you can search on the web. Instead of going out to the movies, bring the movies to you. Hook up your HDMI cord to your television, pop some popcorn, and turn off the lights and bam! You have your at home movie theater.

4. Use Quizlet


Have you ever spent all of your money on books for your classes? It’s a terrible feeling, and what’s even worse is when your professor tells you to buy another book after your first week in school. That’s probably another moment you’ll laugh at yourself and ponder, “How do you expect me to buy this book when I can barely buy food?” I have a solution for you: Quizlet is a great option. It’s free ninety nine.

Being broke sucks… you never want to be that person in your friend group that denies an offer to go out to dinner. Although you don’t have money to blow, you’ll finds creative ways to have fun. When you see your friends on campus, don’t feel bad that you can’t join the festivities. Take the penguin’s advice from Madagascar: “Just smile and wave boys…smile and wave.”

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Star Johnson

Illinois State

I am a senior studying Journalism at Illinois State University and I hope to become a reporter for a big news company one day. I was a features reporter in the fall of 2016 where I wrote articles including profiles and events on campus. This semester I am a news reporter for The Vidette and I write articles for both the campus and the Bloomington-Normal Community. I am passionate about writing because I can express myself non-verbally which I think is a beautiful type of art.
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