Dear Nubian Queen,
I used to have a part-time job, but this semester I’m taking 18 credit hours of classes, so all of my free time is devoted to studying. I have so much school work to do, and I don’t want a job that will mess up my focus. Are there things I can do around the campus area that don’t require me to spend my last 10 bucks?
Broke as a Joke
Dear Broke as a Joke,
As a fellow poor college student, I feel your pain! I also admire that you see the importance of putting your school work before making money. Although a minimum wage part-time job might be enticing at the moment, graduating with a degree and a good GPA is what will get you the BIG BUCKS in the long run.
Having a lack of cash flow can be tough, but there is definitely always something you can do with an empty wallet. Free entertainment can be found almost every weekend at our very own Carter Finley Stadium! Believe it or not, there are some people who pay high dollar to get a good seat at a Wolfpack football game, but as a student, you have the luxury of sitting right in front of the field for free! Going to a Saturday game is a great way to spend a few hours hanging out with friends and showing your school spirit.
If you prefer something more active, visit Carmichael gym, where you have the option of taking classes in Yoga, Pilates, Absolution, cycling, weight training, rock climbing, you name it, all for free. The gym offers so many recreational options for students, and all you have to do is swipe your ID card.
If the arts are more your cup of tea, tour one of the many exhibits around campus, such as Talley Student Center or the African American Cultural Center. Once a year the College of Design and the College of Textiles has an outdoor fashion show in the Court of Carolina called “Art to Wear.” You’ll feel like a New York socialite sitting in the front row at this event, all for the cost of nothing.
There are always campus organizations hosting programs featuring guest speakers, interactive activities, and often times free prizes and food for audience members. These events are usually during the week, so if you need a quick break from studying, why not head over to a program for a couple of hours? A great resource for finding out about these events is the Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) listserv, Union Activities Board (UAB) listserv, as well as the Women’s Center and CSLEPS listservs. Simply visit their websites and register to receive this information.
If you’re looking free or very cheap entertainment, Witherspoon Campus Cinema charges less than two dollars for students to view a movie, and on many occasions, it offers free, exclusive screenings of new movies that haven’t even premiered in theaters yet! In addition, the North Carolina State Fair is right around the corner, and every year they have a free can night, in which you get into the fair free by simply donating a few cans. Yes, you will need money if you want to eat and go on rides, but at least you save a few bucks by not paying for admission. Also, downtown Raleigh is always hosting outdoor events for the public, and it houses the North Carolina Museums of History, Art, and Natural Science, which may sound kind of lame at first, but I promise, it can be A LOT of fun touring these exhibits if you bring a friend.
And let’s not forget about the free transportation. As an NCSU student, you have free access to Wolfline buses, the Raleigh CAT buses, and the Triangle Transit Association. Between these three lines, you should be able to get practically anywhere in Raleigh and surrounding areas such as Durham for free.
While it is difficult working and taking several classes, it’s definitely possible to do both. Two important words to remember: time management. If you know that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days when you have your longest and most difficult classes, then you need to make sure you’re not scheduled to work on those days. If you know that you are better at doing homework during the day as opposed to at night, then find a job that allows you to only work in the evenings. In addition, there are several “cushy” on-campus jobs offered solely to students that often times allow students to do their homework while they’re working! The beginning of each semester is a great time to visit places such as campus libraries or offices and ask if they are in need of a student employee, and with this recession, they’re a lot more likely to hire students like you who are satisfied with minimum wage than a full-time employee. It’s important to think outside of the box when searching for ways to make money as a student (legally). Keep your eyes open for flyers around campus, because you can usually find a couple that offer to pay you money to take surveys or participate in focus groups.
Good luck with your classes, and if you do chose to pursue a job, always plan out a schedule with your boss that works around your school schedule, not over it. Remember, make the money, don’t let it make you!