random thoughts from February

Several things have been going on lately that are important, so it's time to share them.

First of all, vitamins are worth every dollar you pay for them. Every one of my friends has been sick with everything from the flu to colds to stomach viruses, and many are on antibiotics now. I always take a daily vitamin, but when I realized that everyone was getting sick I decided to really crack down. I have been taking a one a day mens and 2 echinacea every day for 2 weeks and have felt the best I ever have without even a hint of getting sick. I also have doubled the amount of water I am drinking and have been using germx like crazy. There is no doubt in my mind that if it weren't for this I'd be sick as a dog with the rest of campus. So the lesson here is: kids, do what your momma says and take your vitamins and wash your hands!

The second thing that is important is never pass up opportunities. If you have a chance to go on a trip or meet some new people, do it if it is at all possible. College is a time when you are supposed to be having fun and meeting lots of new people and making memories, and if all you ever do is worry about working all the time and trying not to go to far in debt then you will never have any fun. This may sound contradictory as I am the biggest advocate of saving money and not going into debt, but in 20 years you won't remember those 2 days of work that weekend, but you will remember that beach trip that you took with your buddies when you skipped work. I am not advocating going into debt for this, but am just saying that if you have some money and have a chance to go do something then do it. Have fun, make memories, and do it as cheaply as possible. That, my friends, is college.

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Why shouldn't I go to college for free?

I have decided that I should go to college for free. College students are constantly bombarded with advisers and financial aid stuff saying that there are billions of dollars available in scholarships, and yet it seems like no one I know can ever find any of those dollars. So as of today, I am now on the lookout for free money for college, not loans, but free money and scholarships.

Today I called the financial aid office to inquire about any aid the school could offer me and they confirmed exactly what I expected: I'm not eligible for any more than I have because of my parents income bracket. I have been thinking about this and was wondering if I could file taxes independently from my parents and then be eligible for financial aid because I would be in the lowest tax bracket, but I was told that I have to include my parents information on my FAFSA until I'm 24 so that wouldn't work either.

Then I asked the guy at financial aid about any outside scholarships I should apply for, and he said that first of all DO NOT USE FASTWEB. He was very persistent in this and said that all they do is sell all of your information to mass marketing, and that hardly anyone gets results from Fastweb. He gave a longer explanation, but just trust me in that I will no longer be using Fastweb. He said to use search engines and put in criteria that you fit in along with the word 'scholarship' and it should turn up results. I have not had time to investigate this fully, so I will be writing again soon once I try that.

He also said to check local retailers and companies such as Wal-Mart and Costco for scholarships, as well as my parents employers. I have checked my parents employers in the past, but will be checking on that again soon. I need to check the local retailers, but haven't had time yet.

I really hope this new search turns something out, because I really need to get some money for school or I am going to have massive student loans, which is what I am trying to avoid. I have a job, but there is no job you can work in college that even begins to touch the amount you owe. It covers my gas money and has helped me establish some savings, but besides that I'm stuck.

If you have any advice or a success story on finding a scholarship feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at tipsfromacollegestudentblogatgmail.com. If you have some money you want to donate towards the college fund, I would gladly except that. There is a donate link on the right of this page, or you can email me and we can talk.
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