College can offer some of the best years of your life, but the rich memories you create aren't always paired with a rich income. I remember my college days being accompanied by copious servings of ramen and a meager bank account. When your schedule is packed with classes, studying, and the occasional beer pong tournament (sidebar: don't practice underage drinking, kiddos!), there isn't much time leftover to rake in the dough. At best, you can nab a part-time job at a beauty care store in the mall and exit each shift with a purse full of body wash samples. Yes I am speaking from personal experience, and yes, my boss said it was fine to try all of the products out. Even the sweetest of part-time gigs can't properly supplement the astronomical costs of textbooks, supplies, and student loans. For many of us, college is a time where we feel indebted even before officially entering the working world. It's true that money doesn't buy happiness, but what it does buy is sushi and filet mignon — meals I so desperately craved during my umpteenth serving of fruit snacks as an undergrad.
I know it's rough, but believe me when I say that you will get through this sometimes grueling toggle between adolescence and adulthood. It's integral to find ways to file away the stress that can accompany college life and remember to enjoy these pivotal years.
One thing that every broke college student needs to arm themselves with is a playlist of sweet tunes. You can belt your stresses away, provide your late-night study sessions with a serene symphony, and even become the star DJ at your next dorm party. As one who spent a good deal of time as a broke college student — and has since graduated to rent-paying adult-type person — I have cherrypicked the best of the best when it comes to music that will speak to penny-pinching undergrads. Enjoy!
1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop"
Thrift shops aren't an option when you're a broke college student — they are a requirement. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis remind us of just how BOSS wearing someone's "hand-me-downs" can be, so you can feel on fleek while rocking that two dollar vest.
2. Weezer, "Beverly Hills"
Fantasize about your potential post-college fortune with this ditty from Weezer.
3. Aloe Blacc, "I Need A Dollar"
In college, every dollar counts.
4. Survivor, "Eye Of The Tiger"
If you need something to remind you that you got this, look no further than this track.
5. Christina Aguilera, "Fighter"
Remember every struggle can make you stronger with this song from Xtina, herself.
6. LunchMoney Lewis, "Bills"
Welcome to the wonderful world of bills! Now that you are truly entering adulthood, I can tell you for certain that those bills aren't going to hence delivery any time soon. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy some good music when calculating your expenses for the month, though.
7. Walk The Moon, "Shut Up & Dance"
During times of financial straits, sometimes it's important to simply dance it out. There's nary a better place for dance parties than college campuses, so rock out to this '80s-inspired track from Walk The Moon.
8. *NSYNC, "I Drive Myself Crazy"
Between final exams, financial woes, and homesickness, you truly can feel like you're losing your mind sometimes as a college student. Find solace in this track from *NSYNC, and also enjoy a laugh over the many faces made by a platinum-haired Justin Timberlake.
9. The Script, "For The First Time"
For those students who have turned 21 (you're obviously not drinking alcohol otherwise, riiigghhhtt??), remind yourself that "old cheap bottles of wine" aren't so bad and that plenty of others are struggling just as you are.
10. Asher Roth, "I Love College"
For those times when you're yearning for your old twin bed and high school days, listen to Asher Roth wax poetic about just how awesome college really is.
11. Pharrell Williams, "Happy"
Need an instant cure for a sour mood? It's hard to feel anything but "Happy" when listening to this upbeat track with Pharrell Williams and his glorious fedora.
12. Sam Smith, "Money On My Mind"
Despite the title, Sam Smith's "Money On My Mind" is actually more of a tribute to the finer things that cash can't buy.
13. Jakubi, "Couch Potato"
Even the most arduous of college students need time to rest and recuperate. Listen to this track and remind yourself that there's nothing wrong with some quality couch time to take a break from your stresses.
Don't fret, broke college students. Study hard, have fun, and remember that your bank account won't always be so meager.
Images: YouTube; Giphy (2)