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The Telescope

7 things broke, busy college students often experience


Broke College Students
Photo illustration by Brian O’Malley/The Telescope Photo credit: Brian O’Malley

1. Your appearance is a wreck; grooming habits are rushed and sloppy.
Alarm set for 6:30 a.m. to get to your class at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m. Half of that time went to snooze, and the next 10 minutes you were standing in the shower with your eyes closed rubbing a cheap soap bar erratically around your body. Hair is of no importance; hats are your best friends.
Throwing on a wrinkled shirt from your dirty laundry, forget your belt, and end up settling for flip-flops in the middle of winter to not put the extra effort into tying your shoes. You show up 10 minutes late to class with the bloodshot eyes of a junky and a disheveled demeanor you thought only Einstein could pull off.

2. Any social interaction is a miracle.
It is a mission to get anywhere, any snippets of interaction with other human beings happen rarely: pit stops at the bathroom, scholarship foundation, cashier’s office, and cafe for a stale bagel with loose change. No cream cheese.
The highlight of your day: run into the cute girl from your math class. You say, “Hi, like your shirt..Got to go.” Then off you go at full sprint trying not to look like the flustered rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

3. Money is always a day late, and a buck short.
For most of us, we know money is an issue. Money rules the world. Paying off that whopping $500 speeding ticket from the cop who sits at the same place and wracks his quota at the end of the month, on top of that constant burrito fix, which takes its toll. Preference for food becomes impossible.
Available work hours have dropped due to your constant schedule change, and they are tired of it. Hours are cut; remaining loot goes to high, reckless college student driving insurance, and you sell your best vintage clothing and grandfather’s watch to have some going-out money for the weekend.

4. Plans are made eons in advance.
“Hey stranger! Wanna hang out tonight?” Not only is time wasted by texting this person back, going out and hanging the towel on all other responsibilities is exactly what we want to do. But there is no chance.
Papers are late, money is to be made, and you’re expecting four hours of sleep tonight. The only chance of blowing off some steam eventually sets in your calendar. “I’ll be free in a month.” How’s the 5th sound to you?

5. Our end game is the only game we have.
Our ultimate goal is to have a career that we love and make six figures; live in a luxurious pad and hopefully attract someone with our success along the way. We forget to live in the now, and reject all of those who do want our attention and presence.
Not only are we in a community college that is a stepping stone to the big 4-year, the path to that end game is only promising to those that exhaust all life force to reach it. Eye of the Tiger, the inner Rocky, and daily motivational pep talks in the mirror come with the more admirable and treacherous road followed.

6. Sleep becomes the only extracurricular activity we revel in.
You start to believe you are narcoleptic. Waking up with keyboard marks on your face, slowly drooping your head every time you sit, and lazy boy naps in the front seat of your car. Rejuvenation and rehab time is cut to a minimum and it shows in your health and demeanor.
The bed becomes a sacred location that scarcely sees any worshippers. The ecstasy of falling asleep in peace becomes a momentous moment in our lives and is remembered fondly when our school and work grind relentlessly takes the helm and throws us into the storm.

7. Forget having a significant other.
You laugh every time someone asks if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend; these are fairytales and whimsical stories that have no place in your hellacious crusades. The struggle is real, and most of the time, sharing that struggle is not a wise idea.
Ultimately the addition of a significant other in this lifestyle would be a mistake, especially when the other is in the same neck of the woods as you are. Just stay away. Dream but don’t quit your day job.

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7 things broke, busy college students often experience