The term “broke college student” is becoming more real every day. With the price of college tuition skyrocketing, we can’t afford to make regrettable or expensive choices, especially if we want to eat the next day. I learned that lesson the hard way and so did these five other students who recount the worst college purchases they have ever made and what became of them.
1. Hair Clippers
“My freshman year of college, I decided I wanted to experiment with a new look, something more mature so naturally I decided to shave the left side of my head. Instead of just heading to a barbershop down the street and asking them to cut my hair, I decided to buy a pair of clippers off of Amazon. When they arrived, I was so excited I decided to cut my hair immediately, no practice, no preamble. I began shaving my left side when my roommate slammed open the door and scared me half to death. I shaved off half my head. When my parents came to visit for parent’s week and asked why half my hair was gone, I joked that I was a huge Clippers’ fan." - Serena, Class of 2022.
2. Plane Tickets to Las Vegas
“A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I decided we wanted to see 5 Seconds of Summer in concert but we couldn’t afford to see them in Los Angeles where we go to school so we joked about how it would probably be cheaper to fly to another state and see them. Then we started looking up other venues and their prices. We discovered they were playing the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas. The tickets for the plane rides and festival combined cost less than a single ticket to the L.A. venue so we decided, why not? We bought them the same day. We didn’t tell our parents or family members - we just did it and it was an amazing experience overall, except we are going to be broke for the next month or so with no help from our parents.” - Shelby, Class of 2022
3. Full-Out Dining Plan
“I love being over prepared for everything. My freshman year, I convinced my parents to shell out thousands of dollars for the most expensive meal plan my school offered. That was a terrible idea because I had too much money left on my account and I ended up buying my whole floor pizza because the money doesn’t carry into the next semester.” - Max, Class of 2020
4. Football Season Tickets
“My college had a great football team but as a foreign student, I was never a fan of football so I never attended any games in my first two years. After feeling left out my first two years, I spent $500 on season’s tickets. I was pretty excited until we lost the first game, then the second and maintained an almost constant losing streak the entire season. Suffice to say, I never attended another game again.” - Sam, Class of 2018
5. Useless Textbooks
“Any person who has ever been to college will tell you textbooks are a scam. My senior year of college, my Ethics professor made us buy a textbook written by him that cost $300 dollars then proceeded not to use it once the entire semester. I tried to resell it but he had already released a new edition by the end of the semester.” - Jeremy, Class of 2017.
Have you ever made similarly horrible or even worse purchases during your educational career? If not, take these as a warning sign and try to be more frugal with your college purchases.