Student Discounts Galore
There’s honestly no excuse for you not having Spotify Premium at this point.
By Lauren Diethelm, University of California Santa Cruz
Whether you’re a returning student or an incoming freshman, its time to put that fancy .edu email address to good use.
If you’ve read any of the other pieces I’ve written for this magazine you know I’m utterly freaked out by adulthood and making the best of being a broke college student; that said, there are a few things you just have to spend money on, much to my chagrin, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price for them.
Here are five amazing discounts on products and services that you’re probably already using anyway.
Santa Cruz is about a six-hour drive from my home town—close enough for me to go home at every holiday and a couple weekends here and there without breaking the bank.
I’ve spent many, many hours in bus seats of varying comfort levels, and while Greyhound is not my favorite bus line, saving money is my favorite. (If you book early enough in advance, Megabus tickets sell for as low as a dollar. Usually I don’t believe promotions like that, but I’ve actually purchased a one dollar bus ticket, so I know it’s real. Keep an eye out.)
If you live close enough to home to go back frequently but too far for your parents to just come get you, saving money on a bus ticket is a perfect excuse to go home and recharge for a weekend. Alternatively, if you don’t want to go home but don’t want to stay on campus either, cheap bus tickets to a random town can be a fun (albeit slightly scary) weekend trip as well.
I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother has heard about this, but I’m going to talk about it anyway, because I love Amazon Prime. My dad has had it for years, so I mooch off of his (shhh) but if for some reason he kicked me off, I would pay for it myself.
I love it. Because firstly, free shipping. Almost enough said. Amazon shipping is insanely fast and reliable, so when it’s Friday night and you’ve realized you don’t have that book you need for Monday, never fear. (Amazon also has an awesome book rental and buyback program. Save your money, friends.)
Also, Amazon sells literally everything. I’ve bought several different kinds of medicine and bandages and had them shipped overnight (for free!!) and they’ve just started Amazon Fresh, which will deliver food right to your door. I’m all about all of these things, y’all, I don’t want to leave my house if I don’t have to.
Plus, when you’re an Amazon Prime member, you have access to their entire streaming library, which has a whole bunch of stuff that Netflix doesn’t have. My friends and I have definitely made use of this fact when it’s three in the morning and it seems like we’ve watched everything Netflix has to offer.
I was super adamantly against paying for a streaming service that’s offered for free for a very long time, but then I drove cross country with someone who had Spotify Premium and was converted. Mainly because Spotify adds are objectively the worst adds ever. They are terrible, you guys, they’re so bad. Once I experienced not having to experience them, I couldn’t make myself go back.
Paying for Spotify has other benefits besides freedom from bad adds, my favorite of which is the unlimited skip feature. This comes in super handy when you want to listen to music but nothing sounds right, which happens to me all the time. I don’t want to have to think about how many songs I’ve skipped, I just want to find the one that fits the mood of my bus ride.
Also, my friend who converted me pointed out that Premium allows you to download the songs to your device, so you can listen to them when you don’t have wifi, and this effectively eliminates the need to purchase music from somewhere like iTunes. (Is there anywhere else to even do that anymore?) That was the final nail in the coffin for me—I can spend five dollars a month for unlimited music if it means I don’t have to spend twelve on one album anymore.
When I found this discount while I was doing research for this article I almost ignored it, because college students generally don’t shop at Banana Republic, but then I changed my mind. It’s still true that college students don’t shop at Banana Republic, but what that means is college kids don’t have clothes for after college.
The expectations on students’ dress codes are fairly lax, but I just got a job that made me go out and buy black suit pants, because that’s still a thing in the real world. The thought of having to buy an entirely new wardrobe to wear in the professional world is a little frightening to me, because that’s a fairly big expense all at once, but make use of your student discount before you graduate. Buying a couple staple pieces while you still have a valid student ID saves a little money in the long run and gives you at least one outfit to wear to interviews.
This suite gets you the basics like inDesign and Photoshop, but it also includes other super cools apps like Muse, which lets you build websites without having to know how to code. I will say as a disclaimer that a lot of campuses have computer labs with the Adobe suite already paid for by the university (Santa Cruz definitely does) and so this isn’t as justifiable as some of the other items in this list.
That said, if you’re interested in pursuing design or photography (or any kind of media, really) after college, these are the programs you’ll be using. Even if you’re interested in a different field, knowing how to use these programs with any kind of proficiency gives you a huge leg up over people who don’t.