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Midweek Study Break: 20 Ways to Know You’re Owning This Whole Being Broke Thing

It’s beginning to feel as if I’ve been taking midterms since Week 3 of the semester. I’m starting to question why they are even called midterms when most courses have two “midterms” before the final exam. Isn’t the entire point of a midterm examination it being in the middle of the term, hence the word, midterm! Maybe I’m just rambling and the lack of naps is getting to my brain. With another hard few days ahead of us until the weekend is here, I present you this week’s installment of “Midweek Study Break.”

Other than having a constant stream of exams being hurled at me, I’ve been submitting endless job applications. Before you wish me luck, save yourself the effort, because it seems I am utterly unemployable. You would think my time spent volunteering for different organizations would cause employers to see how selfless of a person I am, contributing over 12 hours of my week for tasks that I don’t get paid a dime for. Apparently I missed some life lesson, because having plenty of volunteer experience in various types of organizations means nothing when it comes to applying for a job. 

Since I can’t seem to get on a payroll anywhere, I’ve decided clearly this is a sign from the gods that I am not meant to work. I am perfectly happy spending my time doing free labor for organizations I actually care for, and because of my zero dollar income, I’ve come to really embrace this whole being broke thing. Having no income along with no refund check (thanks a lot FAFSA), I’ve become quite savvy if you ask me. As a fellow real life broke girl, I present you the 20 ways you know you’re owning this whole being broke thing. 

1. You were thrifting for clothes before anyone ever wrote a song about it, plus, you can easily list the best thrift stores within a 20 mile radius. 

2. While on the topic of shopping, any fellow broke girl knows the first commandment of shopping. “Thou shall always browse the sale rack first.” 

3. You don’t RSVP to an event until you hear what the food situation is. 

4. While attending events with free food, you obviously bring a large purse to carry home seconds and/or thirds. Don’t worry, this is a no judgment zone. 

5. You’ve filled out more raffle form entries than you have scantrons. There’s no shame in trying, right?

6. Your wallet is filled with coupons and vouchers for a free gift with purchase. And while on the topic of coupons, you faithfully watch every episode of Extreme Couponers, even the reruns. 

7. Your lack of funds has greatly increased your school spirit. Think of all the people you meet at those events, plus, they’re free, and free is your budget! 

8. You have the bus routes for your city memorized. You’re also on a first name basis with most bus drivers.

9. Your Google Calendar has the major yearly sales listed. Hello Veteran’s Day Sales!

10. All toiletries, school supplies, decorations and sometimes even food are bought in one place…Dollar Tree!

11. You’ve decided to embrace that whole natural-boho, not trying that hard style. It saves you both time in the morning and money on beauty products. 

12. When it comes to fashion, before throwing it out you ask yourself one question, “Would cutting this make it cuter?”

13. All textbooks are optional.

14. You have that one friend that will attend any event with you as long as a free shirt is offered. 

15. Noodles in a cup is your main good group, and let’s face it, your metabolism isn’t what it used to be. 

16. Checking your bank balance is an emotionally toiling activity that should be done sparingly. 

17. Your face when your fellow classmates don’t know of all the free resources on campus…

18. You have a pre-planned monologue to explain to people how name brands and store brands are basically the same exact product. 

19. Black Friday is your favorite holiday!

20.And finally, you welcome being asked out on a date. Hello? Free meal!

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Rubi Mancilla

UC Riverside

Rubi Mancilla is a fourth year studying Psychology and Women's Studies at UC Riverside. She decided to double major because at the time it seemed like she was getting two degrees for the price of one, the ultimate sale! She writes about relationships, how to spend a Friday night at home, being a confused twenty-something and never having enough money in her bank account. Her column 'Midweek Study Break' is published every Wednesday but you can read more of her work in her new project, When Life Gives You Rubi. Until Disney decides to make a movie about how hard it is to be a recent (single) college graduate, we can try to figure out this whole being a grown up thing together.   
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