Dining on a Dollar

As students transition into the next chapter of their life, college, they are faced with new challenges and responsibilities that their parents once worried about. At night college students come home to a pile of homework instead a pile of spaghetti on their plate. They no longer have the comfort of home by having a nice fresh home cooked meal. Students dinner pick is either a bag of chips or whatever they call the food at the Cafeteria. Either way they can’t afford what they really want. Maggie Tully, a rising Junior at Indiana University from Fishers, Indiana was just another student that had to go through this transition. Thanks to the help of Indiana University and Bloomington her costs of food, furniture, and fun have been very feasible and enjoyable.

“I’ve been so amazed of how quickly you just grow up from just being away from home and I would say have an open mind and just keep your door opened to things. People will say you can’t make a small school big but you can make a big school small,” Maggie said.

The problem that most college students run into when they first face college is being able to budget their money. Students that are entering freshmen year as well as students first going away from home are still young adults. Most of the time they do not have their priorities straight especially with money. However, they have to figure out a plan because they don’t have the opportunity to lean on their parents for money or help.

“Suddenly you realize all these things that you just had for your whole life that you just took for granted,” Maggie said.

Students attending Indiana University cannot be dependent on their parents with money anymore, but they are provided discounts and help from Indiana University and the town of Bloomington. Maggie was able to have a smoother transition from living at home in Fisher Indiana to living in Collins Living-Learning Center because of the multiple options she was offered.

When Maggie decided to live off  of campus for the school year coming up, she knew that she needed furniture for her new place.

“What’s nice is that there is a thing called IU classified, it’s almost like a craigslist for students,” Maggie said. Rather than throwing her cash towards a brand new couch, Maggie was given a used furniture website at the tip of her fingers.

Pitaya Clothing store in Bloomington, Indiana

Nowadays shirt, jeans, shoes, and accessories can be very expensive. On a college student budget the last thing they want to do is buy a new shirt worth the amount of three meals. Luckily there are variations of boutiques that are trendy and inexpensive in Bloomington. Pitaya is one of the many boutiques found on Kirkwood in Bloomington. 

“I like it when they [Pitaya] do have sales or deals for college students, it is so awesome when they do a student discount even though they are on Kirkwood,” Maggie said. College students like Maggie love that Bloomington offers stores that cater to students financial needs.

Other than budgeting money for food and other fees, college students deserve time to be social and have fun doing activities with their friends. The movies or going bowling is always fun to make great memories with friends, but the prices for tickets and renting bowling shoes can get extremely pricey. However Indiana University has got it covered for IU students.

Chase Hammerstrom, executive member of the Union Board film series says,“There’s usually free bowling, billiards, karaoke, crafts, escape rooms, laser crystals, and other activities,” all at hand for IU students.

“IU does a really good job at kinda the late night activities things, and it really helps for people who are trying to save money,” Maggie said.

Chase also includes that the Union board displays movies that are free entry for all IU students. “We try to show blockbuster films every week, we’re starting to branch out and do international films soon,” Chase said.

“I saw Moana there with all of my friends, and it’s fun too because it’s mostly full of a room just full of students so it’s a lively crowd and we got to see it for free,” Maggie said.

Indiana University as a whole really provides their students a place they can enjoy without being too costly for them.

“It’s been awesome. I think Indiana has educated me in all sorts of ways,” Maggie said.