Hello everyone, happy Spring Semester 2017! It's been great to see some old faces back on campus after awhile now. The new semester has been exciting so far, although I'm not especially excited for the worst of the chilly weather to come soon. In this post, I'd like to share something that I think might be useful for prospective students who are planning to start college life soon. Money can get tight in college, and I'd like to give a few suggestions that may help reduce the financial burden of students while still enabling them to get the best of their wants and needs.
One of the things I find financially burdensome at college are all the textbooks and reading materials required for classes. Most international students have to support themselves financially, and additionally it's not going to be easy at the beginning of one's first year to have to pay a great amount of taxes as well on top of all these required textbooks. At the end of fall semester, I managed to get a little advice from my sophmore friend here at Luther about how to get cheap textbooks. There are websites such as slugbooks.com, chegg.com, valorebooks.com, and even Amazon where you can rent textbooks or get used ones for extra great deals.
I remember back in J-Term, I used SlugBooks to purchase my reading materials. To my surprise, I got a $17 book for only $3! I also got another reading material technically for free, which is a $25 book for a penny—I only had to pay for shipping. These books arrived in the best quality as well! There were no torn or missing pages, or even scribbles from the previous owner. All of the books I received were as good as brand new and I was able to save so much. This semester, I used the same websites to purchase my reading materials. I wasn't as lucky as I was for J-Term, so I had to rent most of them through Chegg. The great part about Chegg is that if you decided to drop a class, you can return your purchases back to them with no extra shipping costs and get a full refund, which includes your shipping fees and taxes (only if the return is made within 21 days). It's not any different from the Luther Bookshop, which is great.
Another way of saving money for textbooks is to ask your sophomore, junior, or senior friends if they still have the textbooks with them—especially the reading materials for Paideia. Paideia generally requires about 5 texts, and you really don't want to purchase them all because you might end up selling them for only a dollar or two—which is what I received when I sold them to the bookshop here.
Decorating your dorm is also another important aspect of college life, which if you don't plan properly, you might end up buying everything unnecessary you see in Wal-Mart—things you don't even know where to put once you get back to your dorm. I've recently redecorated my plain walls; I couldn't have done that without the help of dorm-hacks suggestions on Tumblr and Pinterest. It didn't even cost that much, I just had to look for what I needed at thrift stores! I recently got a fairy light for a dollar at the thrift store downtown where you can buy these fairy lights for a dollar and get the next one for free! I even got to hang up my Polaroids; the pegs and ropes I got for $2 to $3 each at Wal-Mart!
I hope these suggestions were helpful for you in any way if you're considering or have already considered Luther. Think about all the short getaways you can spend on without worrying so much if you did little savings month by month. In fact, you would still be getting all the things you want and need!