Your freshmen year can bring a number of different things that you may not use.
One main thing is the freedom. You may be thinking “I had freedom at home,” and you could have; but not the type of freedom that you will experience in college.
You had freedom at home, but your mom still made you go to school. You had freedom at home, but you still could not come into your mom’s house at 6 in the morning like it was nothing. You had freedom at home, but you still could not be drunk in your mom’s house, around your mom or with your mom.
Although freedom is something new for you in college, it’s something greater than that that can be your downfall. What is it? A huge lump sum of money that you will receive from financial aid called a refund.
My freshman year my refund was up to $3,333, which a lot of you may be receiving as well. When you first hear about this money and see this money, this first thing you are thinking is, “I’m about to turn up.” Or “I’m going to every game and event and it’s going down.” Or “When them new J’s come out they are all mine,” etc.
In these moments of joy there are several things you do not realize: first thing being you will eventually have to pay it all back and, second, money can go so fast.
A lot of you are probably thinking you can make 3g’s last for an entire semester. But I’m here to tell you now that you can’t.
If as soon as you get your money and you think about all these turn ups and trips you are going to go on, your money is already gone.
I’m sure that some of you are going to go to the liquor store and you are going to drink that night you receive that refund. Or maybe you are a person who smokes, so you will be getting high that night.
Second, you are going to buy so much food, you are going to start eating expensively because, hey, you can.
Most of you all may have friends; I want you to be ready for the friends who are around you because of the fact you do have that money. Your “friends” are going to try and drink for free, smoke for free, eat for free, all off of you because of this lump sum of cash that you have received.
When that happens within a month, maybe even two weeks, you are going to realize you are probably already down $500 or $1,000.
I cannot tell you what to do with your money; I can only tell you what can happen if you do not listen to me. All these games and turn ups will add up; all the food; maybe you don’t have a car so all the gas money you give someone else will surely add up; all the parties, just everything.
You do not want to be the one who can’t participate in homecoming events because you’ve already spent your refund. You do not want to sit at home during Bayou Classic because your mom doesn’t have $200 for you to go with the school and your refund is completely wiped out.
I recommend you truly budget your money. You get a refund for both semesters. There’s no reason why when you come back in January you don’t have a dime so you have to sit and wait for the next refund.
You can’t get a refund on a refund, meaning you will never get that money back and you’ll only have to pay it back.
Brittina Bethune is a senior mass communication major from Shreveport, La.