Going to college costs a lot of money. Some people could actually buy a reasonably sized home for the amount they are paying for their four years of education. It's insane. I won't go into the politics of why or how we could make education more affordable. That's a topic for another time. But unfortunately, if if college does become more affordable one day, it will be long after most current students graduate. So until then, we have to figure out how to pay those loans back. But we should also take advantage of our tuition with the many "free" services offered on campus. By "free," I mean we're already paying for them with our tuition.
1. Use a tutor
Most college campuses offer tutors for no additional cost. They can really help when you are struggling with a class. Tutors are usually other students, which makes visiting them less intimidating.
2. Use the gym
I won't lie, I prefer going to the local Y and working out in the small room with all the old people rather than seeing everyone I know, but going to the gym on campus is so much better than having to pay a monthly fee somewhere else. My university offers classes such as yoga, Zumba, and kickboxing as well, which is much more in my comfort zone of working out. Find whatever works best for you.
3. Utilize healthcare services
Most schools have a medical center and psychological services on campus. Those are there for you because you paid for them. If you need them, don't hesitate to go. At some schools, they might the best, but it's better than having to pay someone else.
4. Go to events
Chances are, there are plenty of events on your campus that you can get into for free. If you're new on campus, it's a great way to meet new people. It's also a really great way to get involved. If neither of these reasons sound appealing to you, there's a good chance you'll get free things such as food or T-shirts. I didn't pay for a single dinner all last week because of this.
5. The library
You have access to so many books and movies. You might even be able to rent laptops, cameras, and other electronics. A lot of schools also offer tech services if your laptop isn't working. It's definitely useful and worth checking out.
6. Take anything that's being given away for free
Are there food trucks on campus that you just need to listen to a spiel from a sorority to get a free ticket for? Is the yearbook being handed out? Can you get a shirt just by liking an organization's page on Facebook? Take advantage of it! It's possible that these may have been paid for by fundraising instead of your tuition, but why not take advantage of it anyway?
7. Use your school's career center
LMU has an amazing office for Career and Professional Development. I have been a leader on retreats with them, gone to networking events, and gone to their career expo. The staff are so friendly and they just want to help students. They have helped me so much in so many ways, and I have no doubt that the skills I've learned from them will lead me to a job in my field that will help me pay back these loans that are paying for all of these services.
Your college or university probably offers so many services that you are paying for but don't even know about. Make sure to utilize at least one so that you get more for your money.