Everyone has heard the well-known expression, "broke college students." When I was in high school, I did not fully understand the reality of this description. I initially assumed that the only pricey aspect of attending college was the expensive tuition. I was quickly smacked in the face early into my freshman year when I realized that the cost of attending classes was only the beginning.
Before living on my own, I didn't realize how much money it would be to simply eat three meals a day.
I never noticed that buying soap, toothpaste, and a new bottle of mascara quickly eats away at the bank. Back at home, all of these simple essentials were provided for me without asking.
I never had to spend my own hard-earned cash to purchase laundry detergent or groceries, and the reality of college expenses today is oh-so-real.
I worked almost every day at my part-time job over the summer, but now that we're well into autumn, I find myself scraping at thin air to collect enough cash to treat myself to frozen yogurt with my friends.
When there are so many pricey necessities in college, sometimes it's difficult to spend money on leisure activities or costly outings. So many aspects of college are brutally expensive, but it's important to keep in mind that the most important things in life rarely have a price tag.
I don't have to pay a single dime in order for my sides to ache from laughing too hard at 3 a.m. with my roommates. It takes nothing for me to lay in the grass with my friends and tell stories of our childhood. It does not cost a single cent in order for me to go to my school's football games and leap into the air when we score an incredible touchdown.
Buying new outfits or going to the hipster restaurants are certainly nice from time to time, but I'd much rather the moments that cannot be purchased.
Nothing beats the moments in college where you look at the people around you and immediately count your blessings that you have such incredible people in your life. Nothing beats the feeling when you don't want to go home because you'd rather continue watching a silly episode of Family Guy with your best friends on a Saturday night.
Nothing beats being there for your pals when they're crying their eyes out, and there is nothing better in the world than receiving a hug from your best friend when you're upset.
Sure, college is a struggle. I hate the stress of studying for exams while dreading the fact that your tank of gas is on empty. It's an awful feeling when you have to swipe into the dining hall for every single meal because you spent too much money a month ago for your friend's birthday dinner.
But everyone knows that money doesn't buy happiness.
It's worth being broke for several weeks if it meant seeing your friend's eyes light up at a surprise party.
It's worth spending a weekend indoors instead of paying for a new party outfit if it's spent dancing around the living room to Ed Sheeran's newest album.
I would rather make memories doing nothing with someone than pay for something with those who mean nothing.
My college is expensive. I would go crazy if I calculated how much I spend per day. The additional expenses are fun and worthwhile, but I would rather glue my wallet shut and focus on the things that cost nothing. I have found that the least expensive memories, moments, and experiences are actually worth the most in my heart.
Who needs the iPhone X when I can talk in person?
Who needs those concert tickets when my friends and I can scream our favorite song in the car with the windows down?
I don't need any new gadgets or fancy accessories or hipster coffee, because I have so graciously learned that the best things in life are free.