Ways to Save Money as a College Student

There are many ways to save money as a college student, and as said college student, I have to try to take advantage of each and every one of them. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned by observing and experiencing.

First of all, regarding the college one chooses. Public and state universities are almost always cheaper than private universities, and many times the programs at public universities are just as prestigious as their private rivals. Then, apply for any and all scholarships possible. And don’t forget to fill out the FAFSA for the possibility of getting grants from the government. Contact financial aid at the school early and often, as they can help in understanding the necessary costs and the available aid.

Next, and here’s where so many college students fail, don’t make any unnecessary purchases. If at all possible, cut back on bad habits, like binge-eating, drinking and smoking. Use a meal plan from the school, and eat at the cafeteria; this will help cut back on the costs of buying food. Use your student I.D. to get discounts at all sorts of places, and don’t go to as many concerts, if at all possible. Most schools have all kinds of services available, like counseling, job and career services, a wellness center, and free or discount performances. Take advantage of all the amenities the school has to offer.

Regarding textbooks: Many professors don’t require their students to have the textbook. Wait until the first day of class, and ask the professor if it’s a necessity. If it is, explore different options. Renting a used book from an online student resource is often cheaper than buying it from the bookstore.

On-campus living often offers different options, especially at state schools. Try one of the cheaper dormitories. It’s often not as comfortable or private as the bigger, more expensive dorms, but it reduces costs like gas money, and it offers more of a rounded college experience.

Academic advisement may seem like a given, but bears mentioning. Every college student has what is called an academic advisor. They are the ones who help the students decide what classes to take when, and how to enroll in those classes. Advisors help the student keep track of what classes are needed for their degree, and what classes they already have the credit for (AP classes and concurrent enrollment in high school are highly beneficial). Visiting the advisement office often will provide a more streamlined college success path, which may enable the student to graduate early, resulting in a lower cost.

Lastly, stay focused, stay organized and stay on top of all assignments. Instead procrastinating on that research paper, start now. Doing assignments early will reduce the amount of stress. Stress will cause the student to do things he or she wouldn’t otherwise do, like going out and buying comfort food. Stress will often also decrease the quality of work the student does, resulting in a lower grade.

Ultimately, saving money will differ for every student, but these are just some general ideas and tips to try to save money.

[This post was written as part of a scholarship application.]


An Endeavour of Collegiate Proportions

“How did it get so late so soon?
Its night before its afternoon.
December is here before its June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”

~Dr. Seuss

Well. It has been an extremely long time before I’ve posted anything on this blog. I’ve kept busy, doing shows and keeping the faith, not necessarily in that order. Many struggles, many joys, and many pains have gone past, some of which I may take the initiative to write about when I find the time.

Here’s the biggest thing that’s new. I am now a Musical Theatre major in college. Getting here was quite an experience, and now being here is the biggest change I could imagine in my life. A new chapter, nay, a new volume has begun, and I hope only to make it exciting. Coming from a family where getting a college education is expected, I learned much about college life before I got here, and now I learn more every day.

Stay tuned, what will come next is a small portion of writing I put together(more than anything to remind myself) about how to save money as a college student.

Coming Soon!!! Ish!!!


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I know, I know, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything. I’ve had a bit of a crazy summer. But I just wanted to let you know, new posts will be coming your way as soon as I have the time. A few things that will be talked about include making choices, internationalities, and more choices. But I’m afraid that’s all I can give you for the time being. So take heart, my friends, for soon there will be much new subjects!

So You Think You’ve Got Swag?


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Swag. What a word. One of the most used words in today’s society. But what does it really mean?

1. Verb. To sway or lurch.
2. To hang down; sag.
1. Noun. A swaying or lurching.
2. A valance, garland, chain, etc. hanging decoratively in a loop or curve; festoon.
3. [slang] Stolen money or property; loot; plunder
4. [Australian] a) A bundle containing personal belongings, as of an itinerant worker.
b) A large number or amount.

So basically, “swag”, as it is used today, could mean a lot of different things. Let’s do some translations. The following are some sentences heard ‘on the streets’ in today’s society.

The sentence:

1. I’ve got swag.
2. We’ve got so much swag, it’s ridiculous.
3. I’ve got so much swag, the people at the airport don’t even want to touch my bag.
4. I’m swagtastic.
5. That place is so full of swag.

The translation:

1. I tend to lurch unexpectedly.
2. We have such a large amount of an undefined object, it astounds people.
3. I have a very large amount of stolen property. So much, in fact, that airport security is willing to let me pass without inspection.
4. I am a drifter.
5. That location is highly decorated.

So basically, never tell a policeman that you’ve got swag, unless you want to get arrested for possession of stolen property. But where did swag come from? When and, more importantly, why did it begin?

Most likely, it began like so many other words today. It originated because people are too lazy to say or spell out a full word, so they shorten it. What word is that? Swagger.

1. Verb. To walk with a bold, arrogant, or lordly stride; strut
2. To boast, brag, or show off in a loud, superior manner.
3. To browbeat; bully.
1. Noun. A swaggering walk, manner, or behavior.
2. A very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive gait or manner.

So it appears we have yet another word that was taken, abused, and molded to fit society’s wishes.

“Swag is for boys, Class is for men.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Besides the fact that “swag” doesn’t make any sense as it used today, I think class and/or style should be more what we strive for. Class has many definitions, but I’ll cover the ones as they relate to our topic.

1. Adj. Of high quality, integrity, status, or style.
2. First-class; very good.
3. Elegant; classy.
1. Noun. Excellence, especially of style or appearance.

So here we have a word that can actually be used correctly in everyday sentences. An honorable word. One we can be proud of. Let’s try a few other honorable words.

1. Noun. Distinction, excellence, originality, and character in any form of artistic or literary expression.
2. Distinction and elegance of manner or bearing.
3. A manner of doing something.

1. adj. Characterized by dignified richness and grace, as of design, dress, style, etc.; luxurious or opulent in a restrained, tasteful manner.
2. Excellent, fine.
3. Pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.

Let me suggest something. Purchase a dictionary. And a thesaurus. I think you’ll find them very helpful when trying to find just the right word. Use them to find a word, instead of making up your own. And always remember: If someone calls you classy or stylish, thank them. And if someone tells you that you have swag, throw a dictionary at them. It’s that simple.

A Few Profundities


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1. On December 3, 1992, the first ever text message was sent. And so began the decline of the English Language.

2. To be a good wrighter, you have to know how to spell, and also grammar.
3. A couple days ago, my home state, Oklahoma, made the yahoo news page… because of a meth lab found in a porta-potty on a golf course. Makes me proud.

4. Goblins make good singer/songwriters.

5. Refer to number 6. What’s that? Number 6 is nonexistent? One moment…

6. There. That’s better.

Actors Review: Tony Shalhoub


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Most recognized for his role as the beloved, germophobic, OCD detective Adrian Monk in the tv series Monk, Tony Shalhoub has played a lot of very different characters. His only other big tv show role was in the 90’s series Wings when he played Antonio Scarpacci. Versatile? Please. From OCD germophobe to world weary mechanic to alien, Tony Shalhoub.

Wings(1991-1997)- Antonio Scarpacci, the Italian immigrant who provides taxi rides to and from the airport.

Wings(1991-1997)- Antonio Scarpacci, the Italian immigrant who provides taxi rides to and from the airport.

I.Q(1994).- with Tim Robbins, in a movie with Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein, Tony plays mechanic Bob Rosetti.

I.Q(1994).- with Tim Robbins, in a movie with Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein, Tony plays mechanic Bob Rosetti.

Men In Black(1997)- alien, Jack Jeeps

Men In Black(1997)- alien, Jack Jeeps

Galaxy Quest(1999)- Fred Kwan. Starring comedy giant Tim Allen, in this spoof of Star Trek, he plays the not-too-intelligent actor turned spaceship mechanic.

Galaxy Quest(1999)- Fred Kwan. Starring comedy giant Tim Allen, in this spoof of Star Trek, he plays the not-too-intelligent actor turned spaceship mechanic.

Spy Kids(2001)- Minion. The aptly named supposed “sidekick” of Alan Cumming.(note: the picture is actually from Spy Kids 3[2003])

Spy Kids(2001)- Minion. The aptly named supposed “sidekick” of Alan Cumming. (note: the picture is actually from Spy Kids 3[2003])

Life Or Something Like It(2002)- Prophet Jack…Um…Okay…

Life Or Something Like It(2002)- Prophet Jack…Um…Okay…

Cars(2006)- One of the few times Tony Shalhoub has done an animated movie. He provides the voice talent for Luigi, the Italian tire salesman.

Cars(2006)- One of the few times Tony Shalhoub has done an animated movie. He provides the voice talent for Luigi, the Italian tire salesman.

Monk(2002-2009)- Adrian Monk. Need I say more?

Monk(2002-2009)- Adrian Monk. Need I say more?






The List (of plays that is)


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Having done some acting in the past years, I have gotten interested in many different types of plays. What I have here is a list of the plays that I would like to be in. Now of course this list is ever changing and growing, but this is the current draft. Please feel free to comment on my list and tell me yours!


  • Into the Woods- Stephen Sondheim
  • Fiddler on the Roof- Jerry Bock, Leonard Harnick
  • A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum- Stephen Sondheim
  • Big River- Roger Miller
  • Sunday in the Park With George-Stephen Sondheim
  • Three Penny Opera- Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill
  • Addams Family- Andrew Lippa
  • The Producers- Mel Brooks
  • Guys and Dolls- Frank Loesser
  • Assassins- Stephen Sondheim
  • Beauty and the Beast- Alan Menken
  • Les Miserables- Claude-Michel Shonberg
  • Newsies- Alan Menken


  • Macbeth
  • Merchant of Venice


  • Seven Keys to Baldpate- George M. Cohan
  • Fools- Neil Simon
  • The Odd Couple- Neil Simon


  • Flowers for Algernon- Daniel Keyes

All the World’s a Stage


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In the famous soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, the character Jacques coins the immortal words: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”.  As a performer, I have thought a lot about those words.

As a performer, I strive for greatness. As a Christian, I strive to live like Christ. So what happens when the two collide? Working in and with local community theatres, I have encountered a great many people with a great many different beliefs.  Many of them, I have spent quite a bit of time with. Acting and performing in general is not a profession that just lends itself to Christianity. Look at Hollywood, look at Broadway, look at the very sitcoms we watch on TV every night. Not very many popular family themed shows. Not very many popular family-themed performers.

In a sermon that I heard once, the preacher said that as Christians, we should live our lives in a way that it is evident that we have something different, something special. I was recently asked if I was an actor. Without thinking, I immediately replied that yes, I consider myself an actor. But then I thought about it. Aren’t we all acting? None of us are completely ourselves, all the time, are we? We’re too afraid of offending someone. Ephesians 5:1-2 says “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Over the past years, Christianity, Christ, and God have been getting cut out of a lot of things, often being deemed “politically incorrect”. I believe a lot of Christians have just accepted that and started blending into the world, living the same lives as someone who’s not a Christian. I don’t agree with that. Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light shine among men that they may see your good works and praise our Father in Heaven.” I believe that as Christians, we shouldn’t care what other people think about us, if we’re considered “incorrect” or “weird”. A very wise man said once “I’ve seen normal, and I wasn’t impressed”.

It’s my opinion that all performances, whether it be dance, song, Neil Simon’s Fools, or William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, all of them convey some sort of message. Let your light shine. All the world is a stage, and it’s your stage.  I’m not telling you anything. I’m simply stating my opinion, and asking you to ask yourself some questions.

Whose life are you leading?

In what way are you affecting other people’s lives?

What’s the message you’re conveying?

Dave Brubeck


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Five days ago on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, a jazz musician by the name of Dave Brubeck died. It was the day before his 92nd birthday. He was considered to be one of the foremost jazz musicians of all time.

Having been taking classical piano training for almost three years now, I have come across, in my musical endeavors, quite a few different things regarding time signatures. About a year and a half ago, I was looking through music, and I came across a song that I’d never heard before, with a time signature that boggled my mind. That song was Dave Brubeck’s classic, Take Five, which is in 5/4 time. Becoming interested, I looked up the song and immediately fell in love with Dave Brubeck’s music.

Listening to his music is one thing, trying to play it is another thing entirely. Throughout his life and career, Brubeck had a tendency to experiment with time signatures. I have found times in his music that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Many of them are just plain ridiculous, but he did it and made it sound good. Besides Take Five’s 5/4 time signature, there’s also Pick Up Sticks in 6/4, Unsquare Dance in 7/4, World’s Fair in 13/4, and Blue Rondo à la Turk in 9/8.

He was an incredibly talented musician. He was a civil rights activist. He never drank. He was never involved in drugs that we know of. He founded the Brubeck institute at the University of the Pacific, which offers education in jazz for students. He was a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honors. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, he replied “as someone who opened doors.”

Rest in peace Dave Brubeck. You will be missed.

Take Five