Spring Broke

Spring Break is when every overwhelmed, stressed-out and tired college student finally gets to put all work aside and relax for an entire week. In some cases, that means taking a trip to Mexico, San Diego, Phoenix or the Yuma County Fair. It's a time to treat oneself to something nice and take the week to enjoy the company of friends, family and just plain fun. Well, in my case, it was more like one giant math problem. For the week of spring break, my major changed from Broadcasting to Accounting.

As a first-year college student, I really had only given thought to where I wanted to go, who I wanted to hang out with and how much fun it would be. The very last thing on my mind was how much it would end up costing. During my middle and high school years it was always a matter of asking my parents for shopping money, rides to places and money for food. Surprise, surprise -- things had changed immensely from high school to college.

Being the responsible woman that I am, I use the $300 I receive from my parents at the beginning of every month very wisely. April 1 came as did my money; April 2 arrived, and I found myself left with about $86 to last all of spring break. Don't worry, I had perfect reasoning for spending my money so fast: clothes, and so many clothes. There was a sale, and before I knew it my card had been swiped more times than window wipers in a three-hour rainstorm.

Unemployed, I was feeling the pinch and longing to have an amazing Spring Break. Like my wallet, my spirits were nearly empty. Everywhere I could possibly go cost money; and, boy, going out every day added up. In financially depressed times like these, it really helped to have an employed boyfriend to take me out -- until along the way he spring-broke his wallet like I broke mine.

Everywhere I went, all I saw were dollar signs. If this was what adulthood felt like, what color brick road would I have to follow to get the heck out? Not only did everything seem more expensive because I was tight on money, but it was more alluring. Everything I saw, things I don't usually entertain were all so appealing. I was being taunted by infomercials about carrot dicers. It was hard not to laugh at.

A day at the Yuma County Fair costs $5 per person, funnel cake $6, tickets for rides $30, fried pickles $5, water $0 (if you smuggle in your own). At the Sonic drive-in, a popcorn chicken meal is $6 and a watermelon slush $2. For a day at Z Fun Factory, a game card for the arcade $20, mini golf is $5 per person, chicken strips $6, a Factory Ruben $5, go-karts $6 and bumper boats $5. For a movie night at Harkins, tickets are $6.50 a person, medium popcorn $6, box of gummies $4, two drinks $6. A night at my favorite Thai place comes out to $25 for two.

Having split some costs between my boyfriend and me, I didn't have two pennies to rub together. Even if I did, I probably would have found a way to spend those too. Spring Break had left me spring broke, and I had no one to blame it on but food, clothes and fun activities.

Every bit of my money hadn't even made it through the first week of April, and I still had to manage a way of living. And by living, I mean, how am I going to go the entire month without loading up on t-shirts at Forever 21, buying McFlurries from McDonalds or going to Buffalo Wild Wings on Boneless Thursdays?

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