Everyone loves free stuff –– if you don't, there's something wrong with you. Here are a few things that I personally love and think everyone should check out. Not all is free, but every one of these has huge benefits!
Student Wellness Center
I'll admit, I've been to the wellness center on campus so much already. They take a while, and they book up fast, but because I have insurance it's free. I don't know if other campuses have the same type of deal, but it's definitely worth looking into.
The library is totally underrated at Tech. They've got the digital lab so you can check out cameras and stuff, the ATLC has software and programs that are normally super expensive, and they've got some print/scan stations that are super cheap. Not to mention the library comes in super clutch when you can't focus at home or when your computer doesn't feel like cooperating.
The Career Center
So many people go into college just getting a random degree that sort of sounds cool, but don't really know what they want to do. I went in and started to realize I wasn't the happiest in my degree –– and it wasn't what I expected. I went to the career center and they had me take a really cool interest survey. Not only did it tell me what I like, but it told me what degrees fall under those and where they overlap. Then it gave me resources to find out more about the jobs. I ended up switching my degree because of this. No other survey I've done has been quite so accurate, and I've never been happier.
Any University Event
I'll stick sporting games here, but everyone knows about those. All sporting events are free at Tech, and there's usually free stuff that follows. Oh, and the free movie nights are totally worth it. Also, we recently had Diversity Week which included free food, fun games, a free drag show and a bunch of other stuff. Every so often in the free speech area people will hand out other free stuff. Usually it's stuff I already have, but you bet I'm going to take one and walk by later to get another. Something about free stuff just makes people crazy.
One Class Notes
I recently discovered OneClass online and fell in love. It's sort of like StudyBlue, but I didn't really like StudyBlue as much. With OneClass you upload your notes, invite friends, read other notes and rack up points. You have to pay to see notes, however they balance it out by giving you a gift card once you reach a certain amount of points. I believe it's about 750 points for a $10 Amazon Gift Card, but you can choose what gift card you want. Each notes you upload are about 25 points, but there's opportunities for bonus points for reaching certain goals. I don't even read other people's notes –– I just want a gift card.
I was reluctant to join Pocket Points, but I have no idea why. Maybe because I didn't like the idea of being off my phone in class, but how hard can it be? Once I started using it, I was sold. I racked up 15 points on International Women's Day because girls are fabulous and got extra points. Even when I go to the library for a study grind I turn it on and get points and I study so much better. It only works when you're on campus, and the dorms don't count. I've tried using it in my dorm without luck. Keep up with Pocket Points on Facebook for deals and make sure to use it for 2x Tuesdays!
So many places offer student discounts with a college ID. New York and Co and Goodwill are two of my favorites. Yes, I said Goodwill. I once got 4 pairs of designer (like hollister or something) pants for around $20 that looked like new. They also fit my height which was totally amazing because I'm short. Anyway, just remember college kids don't always know to take their clothes to Plato's and PoshMark and end up giving away totally awesome clothes to goodwill. I don't even go to the mall anymore - my shopping day is all resale shops #noshame. Here's a link for more discounted stores.
Companies will come to our school and give info nights and talk about their company which is a great way to get to know recruiters and maybe land a job, but I mostly go for the free food. Not to mention the tons of other events with free food. There's stuff like our Diversity Week, or free food in the free speech area, and so on.
Cheap Haircuts at College Salons
OK, so this isn't exactly free, but it's totally worth mentioning. A generic hair cut can be pretty hard to mess up unless you're a freshman at beauty school, but chances are they won't be the ones in the salon. Anyway we have a place in Lubbock that's got a few more campuses around Texas - Salons by Vista College. They do nails, hair, color, facials and more at probably about half the cost. Maybe I'm too trusting, but I'd totally go there. I've been cutting my own hair to save money, but it's definitely in need of a more professional cut –– but my bank account says no. It's the best of both!
Free Software through University
Tech offers some Adobe and Microsoft programs for free if you look in the right areas. It totally comes in handy to be able to download Word or Excel for Mac when my classes insist I use Microsoft programs instead of the programs that came with my Mac. Some universities also offer things like Photoshop at a discount to students, although you may also get a discount at BestBuy.
Depending on what bank you have, most banks will give students a better deal on a checking account. They will waive fees or lower the fees, lower the minimum amount you have to keep in the account, I don't know. Check with your bank and see, though.
Not all museums offer free admission for students, but some will offer discounts. Waterparks usually will too, so check it out. Tech has a few museums on campus that I know for sure offer free admission. There's some pretty cool art at Tech's museum, too. Definitely go get cultured and visit some museums with friends –– it's not as lame as it may sound.
This one I personally love. But I must warn you. When you sign up for Amazon Student, you agree that at the end of the sixth months they can charge your card for full Amazon Prime. I got charged the $60 and had no idea until one of my friends found out. And once you buy something on prime with full prime after paying for it, you won't get your money back. So Prime Student is fabulous, but mark your calendar for when it's over and make sure you cancel it.
Washington Post Digital
All college students should have some news app like Flipboard or some online resource they check to keep up with the times, especially with the current election. We are budding real life adults who should keep up with the news, and I don't just mean who's dating who. Something like the economy and some politics would be good to know –– we all want jobs one day, so it could be useful to be #adulty.
So next time you're itching to get free stuff or pay less for some everyday things, remember this list. Great discounts are everywhere if you just look.