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6 Fabulous Perks of Being in College

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We all know that school is expensive. We all know that well-paying jobs are hard to come by before graduation. And we all know that the stuff we want usually costs more cash than we lowly students have.

That being said, the college experience definitely isn’t all bad, and is worth appreciating! Below, I have compiled a list of six things you get for “free” or discounted in college – score! (That word “free” is in quotations because the fact is that you may have already paid for some of these in your tuition. However, we won’t ignore these perks just because they are included in the college bundle!)

1. Gym Membership

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You know that big building you pass on your way home from class where all the buff dudes and yoga-goers hang out? Yeah, that’s what we call “the rec”. You probably already pay for membership with your tuition, so why not use it? Even when I commuted from home to campus I used the gym because it was there and already paid for! There probably isn’t a need for an outside gym membership when the one on campus is there and ready to be used!

2. Health Centers

Most college campuses have an on-campus infirmary for students. Some have doctors and some just have nurses. It’s always good to at least know where it is even if you never use it for those just-in-case moments in life. When you stop in to visit, snag some free bandages… blisters from walking around campus are zero fun and you never know when you’ll need one!

3. Cafeteria Food

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If you live on campus, you are probably required to have a meal plan. If you don’t live on campus, you can probably still get one for the cafeteria. You may not like the idea of eating “cafeteria food” past senior year of high school but trust me, it’s a REALLY good deal. My lovely mom made me lunch every day throughout grade school, but my university’s cafeteria food was homemade quality. Seriously!

As a commuter student, I never had a meal plan during my first years of college, but I still ate in the cafeteria all the time. Mondays were fried chicken days and it was a get-out-of-my-way-I-want-the-first-batch kind of thing. Most university cafeterias are “all you can eat” so you pay a flat fee and go from the hot lunch to the pizza to the salad bar to the stir fry. It’s like a mall food court, only you only pay once. And I won’t deny getting to “the caf” 5 minutes before breakfast ended on waffle days and staying until lunch because breakfast was $1.50 cheaper. I can’t say I did that, but I won’t say I didn’t.

4. Stores, Restaurants, and Entertainment

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Most, if not all, movie theaters have a student discount if you show your university I.D. It takes 1.5 seconds to whip out your I.D. at the ticket counter and BAM… you get $1 or more off. Museums usually have a student discount, too.

Heck, even restaurants in a college town give student discounts! A few restaurants in town have a “College Night” with drink discounts. Why are you not out getting these deals right now?!

5. Electronics

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Large electronics companies like Apple, Dell, Sony, and others have student discounts on many of their products. Some universities will even provide their Mac students with Microsoft software so they don’t have to go spend the $500 to have compatible documents for class. Now that is a deal!

6. University Gear

Around Homecoming every year, universities usually have tons of giveaways for school supplies and apparel. Find out when the major campus events occur during the semester and be on the lookout for the booth with the free notebooks and pens. Figure out where to get free Scantrons (!!!) for emergency situations! Look around for day-events that involve free lunch and cake. These things happen, and you should definitely take advantage of all of the free and discounted stuff you get just for being in college!

Basically, the world knows many college students are poor. Therefore, they feel sorry enough for you that they want to make life a little easier on your checkbook. Take advantage of your student I.D. and love it, because one day you will miss the number of things it got you in to… and maybe out of.

Thoughts?

What are your favorite “college perks”? What are some of your favorite stores that give discounts to students? How do you take advantage of the things included in your tuition? Leave a comment and let us know!

Posted on on October 23, 2011 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , ,

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23 Responses to “6 Fabulous Perks of Being in College”

  1. 1
    October 23rd, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    My favorite college perk by FAR is that students at my university ride city buses for free. I don’t have to bring my car up and pay for a parking pass, or for gas/maintenance/etc. to go anywhere :D

  2. 2
    October 23rd, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    here in austria there are also cheaper prices at the hairdressers around college – THATS a good perk;)

  3. 3
    October 23rd, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    This is cheesy, but my favorite college perk was being able to meet such a diverse array of people. I lived in the dorms for my freshman and sophomore year and I recommend it to everyone as a learning experience and bonding opportunity. There’s no other tight-knit community like it.

  4. 4
    October 23rd, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I just got a new laptop (after my beloved crashed and burned during finals week last semester :/ ) but I went with a [pink] Sony and got about $100 off the computer, plus a sheet battery (it gives you 15 hours of battery life and is super discreet!) completely free! I love my laptop, and I never buy anything without a discount or coupon :)

  5. 5
    October 23rd, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I’m jealous you have good food on campus because ours was AWFUL.

    Another great perk? Free movies are shown before they come out on DVD! I just saw Harry Potter part 2 for FREE this weekend and it doesn’t come out on DVD until Nov. 11th

  6. 6
    October 23rd, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I dig the airfare deals- if you hunt around a little, you can find particular sites that give super cheap flights around the country/world. I’ve found them for $40 to Vegas round trip from ATL- too bad I don’t live in Atlanta:)

    Bottom line: Being a college student ROCKS

  7. 7
    October 23rd, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    What does u mean by just nurses? I am a nursing student and bit ticked off the fact you said, “just nurse”. There are no “just nurses”, we work hard, more than you sociology, business and English majors than ever do in school to get the degree we have/get.

  8. 8
    October 23rd, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    @jj009: the writer is using the word just in terms of “only” for colleges that have JUST nurses, no doctors. She obviously doesn’t say that nurses wouldn’t be as helpful as doctors or anything. Read the context carefully before you decide to respond by offending people of other majors and looking down on them. I am not in any of those majors, but I think all of them work as hard as you and try their best in their own ways to get the degree just like you.

  9. 9
    October 23rd, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    @jj009 I meant that some universities don’t have an M.D. on staff and have nurses only instead. I may have worded it incorrectly in the text, I’m sorry!

  10. 10
    October 23rd, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    As a theatre major, I get to attend a free preview/last dress rehearsal for all our big shows which saves me about $20 a ticket, for five shows a year…$100!

  11. 11
    October 23rd, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Free stuff in college is the best! As I’m applying to grad schools, a “free” gym membership is definitely one thing I’ve been looking forward, too. There are often other random free things on campus like food! Also, some local stores offer students discounts. 10 months til I get to enjoy all of that stuff again!

  12. 12
    October 23rd, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    You need to bring your own scantrons to college what??

  13. 13
    October 23rd, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    @ Ellen: I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I’m sorry that it came out that way.. just meant that we deal with people’s lives and it’s not an easy major. :)

  14. 14
    October 23rd, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I disagree with cafeteria food being generally a college perk. Living on campus, a meal plan was always way more expensive than necessary since it was required, and living off campus, individual meal prices were overpriced as well. And depending on your school, the food is not necessarily good. I completely agree with the gym membership and student discounts as total perks, but cafeteria food? No thank you.

  15. 15
    October 23rd, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Two words: bus pass. This tiny scrap of a card gets me pretty much anywhere in the city with the right scheduling. :) Love my bus pass so much. Also, there’s always people handing out free stuff, and as a poor college student I love free stuff.

    I’m going to have to disagree with the cafeteria plan, though. As a commuter, I have access to a much bigger fridge, freezer, and stove than others and find that cooking my own food is much more fulfilling and much cheaper than a meal plan.

  16. 16
    October 23rd, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    The gym is the best part. I have a scholarship where I only have to pay fees to school ($100) so I just say that’s my gym membership! awesome!

  17. 17
    October 24th, 2011 at 12:38 am

    J Crew gives a 15% discount to students with a valid college ID. What what!!

  18. 18
    October 24th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    our university provides us with many things (even though we pay it in our tuition) but I unfortunately don’t take advantage of them.
    the gym for an example, is kind of isolated from the rest of the buildings, and it’s hot in here for most of the year, so going to that building is such a pain, not to mention the time conflict with my courses.
    another thing is cafeteria food, it’s pretty much junk food in here, so i prefer to wait till i’m home and eat if it was a big meal.
    but one thing i really do like, is that our university gives discounts on many stores in here, so it’s always good to save up some money.

  19. 19
    October 24th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Some of the things that made me want to be a professor were to keep all these student discounts. (Yep. I’m a 26 year old professor, college, to grad school to teaching in less then 9 years).
    Some things you guys should know: Autodesk provides free software for students and professors , and the free office pack is no only for mac users. Some universities give tem away for all students.
    *BTW: Students and professors in Brazil get 50% off on movie theaters, plays, concerts, soccer games and so on.

    Love,

    Marina.

  20. 20
    October 24th, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    @jj009: way to be a hypocrite. you offended other majors for no reason when no one meant to offend you… at least an English major would have at least been able to read it & understand what the author was really saying. just a thought…

    As for perks, I’m in law school now, but this applied in undergrad too, especially at smaller schools. Almost every day there is a different meeting or presentation that serves free lunch. I get a complete meal and get to listen to something interesting that enhances my education!

  21. 21
    October 25th, 2011 at 5:26 am

    student ticket discounts!!! uk basketball tickets can be pricey unless your a student :)

  22. 22
    November 2nd, 2011 at 7:49 am

    The College perks I enjoyed (some of which I am still enjoying right now because of my alumni membership)

    1. Pool use.

    The olympic size swimming pool at college was very well maintained, there arent any pesky little children and it’s not as crowded as those in hotels and sports clubs.

    2. Library

    We have one of the best libraries in the country. There’s virtually no need for you to buy any academic and professional books. The university library has them all. There’s conveniently a photocopying machine as well. You can simply photocopy the pages you havent finished and read them at home.

    3. Meeting people

    You meet new people in every class you attend. Any working professional would know that is is really a privilege. Once you start working, you’ll most likely be stuck in an office 8 hours a day with little chance to expand your social circle. It’s also fun to meet people in college as people still don’t have that much ulterior interests, unlike in work.

    _______

    Unfortunately our cafeteria food wasn’t a perk. Everything was paid on a per-order basis and food was even cheaper (and much more tasty) outside campus. Neither did we get freebies or free transportation around campus.

    Alouette Lee

    De La Salle University

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