Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Don’t Pet the Sweaty Stuff

So you want to know how to get through college without a “real job?” Well I’m not going to lie: it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either.

Since I’ve come to FAU (Fall 2003), I have not made more than $3,000 a year. Let us just say that I have been able to get by (and high) with a little help from my friends. With that being said, I would very much like to list the five things that you should consider if you are thinking of taking the “non-real job track” throughout your undergraduate college career.

1. It helps not having bills. When I first came to college, I didn’t have (or want) a cell phone or a car. I didn’t get either of these until my junior year in ’06. Why? Because I couldn’t afford to pay for them.

If you need to have a vehicle, then you must consider how you are going to pay for your auto insurance. (I’m not even going to get started on the gasoline costs.) And the same thing goes for owning a cell phone. Both of these bills tend to be expensive, especially if you pay month-to-month. If you are in the same boat as I am and do not have any collegiate sponsors (i.e., Mom and Dad ain’t footin’ the bills), you are going to need to consider the best way to pay these bills. I find that it is easiest to pay your phone and auto insurance bills (the two most common bills other than credit card payments) in six-month increments. That way you can relieve some of the stress used worrying about your bills on a monthly basis and concentrate more on your school work.

Not only that, but you usually pay much less (at least for auto insurance) when you pay for six months in advance. What I like to do is set aside around $700 from my grants and scholarships (after the awards pay off your fees to the controller/cashier, the average student has an overflow of about $800-$1,000 into their accounts) and use that to pay my bills. This of course is just a suggestion, so weigh out what works best for you.

2.Try finding a job that fits in with your education. There are many of these types of jobs on campus. Consider gaining employment where you can do your school work while you do your “work” work. I worked for FAU’s Information Resource Management (IRM) department as a computer lab assistant for almost a year, and this is/was the ideal job for this example. I still had to do “work” work stuff every day, but there was also a lot of downtime that I used for studying instead of surfing the Internet or doing nothing. I used to tell people that I got paid $6 an hour to get an A- in Latin II. No joke!

3.Don’t worry about being broke! There is a consensus that the majority of elderly people and college students are one step away from poverty for a reason… because they are! Think about it. Why else would corporations such as movie theaters and restaurants give monetary discounts to those two groups? Because society knows these people are broke. Remember when Biggie Smalls said, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems?” Well, the more moola you have, the more you spend it on shit that you don’t really need anyway. Besides, that time you spent shopping and paying to party could have been used to study and read, so don’t beat yourself up too much over being broke. Keep in mind also that you have a better chance of knowing who your “real friends” are when you have nothing to do but be yourself-your broke-ass self.

4.If you need some money during the holidays, then look for some holiday work. One summer I worked at Cold Stone Creamery singing for tips. I’ve also worked selling Christmas trees during the winter breaks and fireworks on the Fourth of July. The only limitations to the possibilities of holiday employment are those in your ingenuity and imagination.

5.Why are you here? To get an education, I hope. My problem was that when I first came to FAU, it was for the wrong reasons. I was so utterly blind. I was here to get a degree so that I could make more money and have a more comfortable life. It wasn’t until halfway through my sophomore year that I realized that the only purpose of a “true education” is to become learned and enlightened. Some people come here year after year, degree after degree, and never figure this out. If you remember anything you read here today, please remember this: you can get any number of degrees you desire for whatever purpose, within the limits of your imagination; however, one can never truly graduate to a higher step in life without acquiring a true education

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