14 Struggles Any Broke College Student Has Experienced at Least Once

Cost of college
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Go to college, they said.

It’ll be fun, they said.

OK — it is fun sometimes. And we’re all grateful for the opportunity to further our education…

…but someone could’ve at least warned us how expensive toilet paper is. We had no idea we’d soon be “borrowing” industrial rolls from public restrooms.

Or they could’ve mentioned how many times we’d wipe our tears with our student loan bills — and parking tickets.

Fellow college students, the struggle is real. But the good thing is, we’re all in this together.

Here are 14 times we felt each other’s pain about the cost of college.

1. When you start thinking about where you want to spend the next four years of your life and then wonder how you’re expected to pay for it.

You meant $30, right? Not $30,000?

2. Once you get your FAFSA back, you wonder why you even wasted your time filling it out.

Thanks. I’ll just go buy a pencil from the bookstore.

3. So you start filling out scholarship applications, but aren’t really sure how to convince random strangers to give you thousands of dollars.

Help me, I’m poor. (Here are 100 scholarships and 100 weird scholarships to get you started.)

4. And then you get your bill before the semester starts.

So that’s what “miscellaneous fees” are.

5. Then you start shopping for used books, hoping to save some money, but honestly they’re crazy expensive too…

At least sell them back afterward.

6. …but then a kind upperclassman tells you about textbook PDFs.

(We don’t actually encourage this, but just know… it’s a thing.)

7. You have to remind yourself that 8 a.m. class you can’t stay awake through costs more than your car.

Caffeinate yourself. Glue your eyelids open. Do something. ANYTHING.

8. When that reimbursement hits and you forget about the peasantry you experienced 24 hours earlier.

Yeah, I know guac costs extra. It’s fine.

9. …but then it’s gone faster than it came.


10. Suddenly every single thing you do becomes a monumental financial decision that will affect you for the rest of your life.

If I can’t pay with loose change, I’m not going.

11. Including when you finally ask that hottie in your hall for a date…

Oh, don’t worry, it’s on me tonight. 😉

12. …and then you two go out for a drink afterwards…

I’ll have a vodka soda. Hold the soda.

13. …but then decide that it would be more cost-efficient to drink at home.

Listen, if you chug it, it doesn’t taste so bad.

14. And, when you finally graduate, you face the impending doom of all of those student loans just waiting to gather interest within the coming years.

              Thank You Student Loans

We know how to conquer these things. Check out our easy ways to pay off student loans.

Your Turn: How did you manage to deal with how expensive college was? Tell us in the comments below!

Kelly Smith is an editorial intern at The Penny Hoarder and a senior at The University of Tampa. She goes to her mom’s house on the weekends and steals all of her food.

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