Money makes a student’s world go ’round

By Amanda Eakin

Why do college kids choose to work in conjunction with their staggering course load? Some would say it pays for groceries if you are off the meal plan (like me), it helps pay for additional college expenses (such as textbooks) or it pays for gas for the times you need to get out of your shoebox dorm, though there is another reason that is often left unsaid.


It is an unnecessary statement, but I’ll say it anyway: alcohol is expensive. Yet if you want to “have a good time” with your friends and not feel like a socially awkward turtle, you have to buy shots just like everyone else. Bars charge a ridiculous amount for one ounce of liqueur because they know they can. People are willing to cough up all their money regardless. If bars charge $20 for a shot, I am certain there will still be people who will fall for it.

Situations involving alcohol aside, going out in general costs money. Whether you’re getting coffee with a friend, going to the movies or going to that archaic skating rink that no one knows about, it all requires a sacrifice. The gods of economy will not be satiated unless you go through every weekend with a sense of despair that your paycheck has been utterly ravished.

I wish I could adopt the ways of the extreme couponers on TLC and apply it to social situations. Of course, I know I’m being ridiculous: alcohol and discounts mesh as well as Ashland locals and AU students.

But there is “happy hour,” you might point out. Fine. There is a golden period of time in which you can get an appletini for $6 instead of $12. Excellent deal. Might I point out that a venti Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks doesn’t even cost that much? Personally, if I’m going to be chugging down 200 percent of my daily value of sugar, I’d like to get caffeinated in the process.

The truth is, if you want to be social, you have to have a healthy stack of George Washingtons in your back pocket. To have fun, to preserve friendships, to live the “college experience,” you need to have money. Maybe that’s why rich people are popular: they can afford to go out all the time. Kim Kardashian, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Rebecca Black, I hate you all. It could also be why students involved in Greek life (who essentially pay tuition to preserve their spot in the chapter) tend to have a sense of elitism, though I refuse to get into those muddy waters.

Since Halloween is rapidly approaching, remember that you might have to buy a costume. But don’t worry, that’s only if you want to look cool. On the other hand, if it so happens that you want to be Lady Gaga this Halloween, just remember that the average price for one of these costumes is $70. Think of how many appletinis that could buy you.

So I’ll return to my original question: why do students choose to work on top of taking classes?

Because they need money to live, both literally and figuratively.