Happy 1st Day of Classes Boilermakers!

21 Aug

“HAIL PURDUE”*

To your call once more we rally, Alma Mater, hear our praise;
Where the Wabash spreads its valley, Filled with joy our voices raise.
From the skies in swelling echoes Come the cheers that tell the tale
Of your vic’tries and your heroes, Hail Purdue! We sing all hail!

Hail, Hail to Old Purdue! All hail to our old gold and black!
Hail, Hail to Old Purdue! Our friendship may she never lack,
Ever grateful, ever true, Thus we raise our song anew,
Of the days we’ve spent with you All hail our own Purdue.

When in after years we’re turning, Alma Mater, back to you,
May our hearts with love be yearning, For the scenes of old Purdue.

Back among your pathways winding, Let us seek what lies before,
Fondest hopes and aim e’er finding, While we sing of days of yore.

Hail, Hail to Old Purdue! All hail to our old gold and black!
Hail, Hail to Old Purdue! Our friendship may she never lack,
Ever grateful, ever true, Thus we raise our song anew,
Of the days we’ve spent with you All hail our own Purdue.

*The Purdue fight song copyrighted in 1913. Music by E.J. Wotowa, class of 1912; lyrics by J. Morrison, class of 1915.

Cheap On-Campus Fun

18 Aug

www.purdue.edu/mymoney

txt-bell-tower

Looking for something to do on the weekend but running out of money? Try some of these fun activities available on Purdue’s campus to keep you entertained while saving money.

Purdue Student Union Board Events

The Purdue Student Union Board (PSUB) is a student run organization that provides students with different activities throughout the year. Most of the time the events they put on are free and involve getting free food! These events are a great way to meet new people, have fun, and save money. For a list of events take a look at their website as events change from semester to semester.

girl walking on Purdue campusExplore

This is always an interesting way to spend a few hours. You can either walk around campus and visit places you have never been or take a walk across the bridge and see what downtown Lafayette has to offer. Or get in your car and see where the road takes you. You never know what you might find while exploring. Have you ever been to Purdue’s Horticulture Park? Definitely worth the short drive (or walk if you live in McCutcheon or Harrison hall).

Having a hard time deciding where to go on your adventure? Every time you come to an intersection while walking or driving, take out a coin and flip it. If it lands on heads take a right and if it lands on tails go left. Let fate decide your adventure!

Flicks at Fowler

Every few weeks PSUB will show a movie in Fowler Hall located in the Stewart Center (or on Slayter Hill when the weather is nice). Students can get in for free when they show their Purdue ID and general admission is $4. Not only do you get to see movies for free but they are fairly recent movies. Visit the PSUB website for dates and movie titles.

Trivia Night

Another event PSUB puts on for students is a trivia night which takes place in the Union Commons or Pappy’s Sweet Shop. Your Purdue ID is usually required to participate. They even give away prizes to the top team!  So grab your friends and test your knowledge on 90s, sports, television, and more!

girls on rowing machinesCoRec

Looking for something a little more active? Try going to the CoREC. You get in free with your Purdue ID and they have everything from weights and treadmills to a pool and rock climbing wall. You can even join an intramural team if you are willing to pay a small fee. You then get to compete in your favorite sport with different teams.

These are just a few of the options for free things to do on Purdue’s campus. There’s always lots being offered so be sure to keep your eyes open and try something new!

Share your favorite ways to have fun in the comments below!

My First Grocery Shopping Experience

16 Aug

Jo Marshall, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

You have decided to take the leap—the leap from childhood to adulthood. You are going to try to make your own food… but first you have to buy ingredients. Grocery shopping can be an adventure in and of itself. Just finding the correct items in the grocery store and maintaining your budget can be a challenge.

The first time I decided to buy my own groceries, I chose to go to Walmart. I didn’t have a car and I knew that the bus route would take me directly to the store and back to campus. Even so, I was terrified that I was somehow going to end up stranded.

I boarded the correct bus, but once the bus reached Lafayette, the driver announced that we were changing routes. Purdue’s campus was far off in the distance and I didn’t know what to do. Surely I could find another bus, but what if it also changed routes? I had to think fast. I found another bus that was heading to Walmart and decided to take my chances.

Luckily, this bus stayed on route.

It wouldn’t have been that stressful, had I taken the time to look around on http://www.gocitybus.com/ to see which routes could get me there. The City Bus even has a smartphone app that allows you to see where the bus is at any time. Because I hadn’t prepared myself for the trip, going to the store took longer than normal, and I was hungry upon arrival. And you never want to grocery shop when you’re hungry.

bus floor and seats; text overlay: Grocery Shopping in College

When I reached Walmart, I grabbed a cart and very slowly walked around the store. It’s not that I wanted to be lackadaisical, but rather that I wanted to find the items and I had no idea where they would be.

I arrived in the aisle for my first item and was bombarded by the immense array of colorful advertisements and choices. I had never realized how many different kinds of cereal there were! Not only are there lots of different kinds of cereal, there are also lots of different brands of every single kind.

The thing about having a lot of choices available is that you are frequently faced with the choice of buying a cheaper and potentially lesser quality item, or perhaps spending more and getting an item that may not be better than the cheaper option.

On this particular shopping trip, I made some poor choices when it came to which brand to buy. I spent more money than I had planned and came home with things that I didn’t need because I had been hungry. I also forgot several of the items that I needed the first few times that I went to the store.

As I learned after a few shopping trips, it’s best if I follow a few rules when I go:

First and foremost, I no longer go grocery shopping if I’m hungry. If I go shopping when I’m hungry, I buy way too much junk food. It’s better if I take the time to eat beforehand.

Secondly, I have learned that it’s best if I carry a grocery list. This helps me not to forget anything and prevents me from buying items I don’t need. It also enables me to estimate how much money I will be spending so that I know whether or not I am going to stay within my budget.

Finally, I have learned from experience which items are okay to buy cheaply and which items are worth spending more money on. This is my personal preference but it’s definitely worth trying different brands to find the best and cheapest option for you.

I hope that you can learn from my mistakes in order to stay within your budget and experience less frustration than I did the first time you go grocery shopping. Shop away!

Freshman Boot Camp: Last Minute Packing Tips

11 Aug

Casey Doten, Financial Aid Administrator

Believe it or not, it’s almost time to move in to your new home at Purdue!

Depending on how far you’re travelling, forgetting something at home could be a quick trip home on the weekend or it could be “looks like I have to sleep without blankets until they can be shipped here”.

If you are feeling panicked because you haven’t started yet, don’t worry! Take it from someone who didn’t actually pack until the morning he left, it can be done in a pinch but that’s also a great way to forget a bunch of important items like I did. So don’t be like me and have to sleep without a real pillow for the first night.

Last Packing Tips.png

Because move-in day and the packing leading up to it can be stressful even for those who plan ahead, it’s good to be prepared with a few last checks to make sure you have everything you need!

Label everything – This first tip comes from University Residences’ Tips for a Successful Move-in Day. Put your first and last name as well as your room number on everything. There will be people helping to bring your stuff into the residence halls but don’t leave any room for question in where it is going.

Pack light – Another great tip from University Residences article. Dorm rooms aren’t huge and trying to fit everything from your bedroom at home just isn’t going to do. If you’re doing anything more than filling an SUV with your stuff, you’re going to want to cut back. This might mean only bringing clothes that are in-season and leaving the winter parka at home (for now).

Buy it here – Believe it or not, West Lafayette is more than just Purdue! There are plenty of grocery stores and other shops like Wal-Mart, Target and Meijer where you can buy most anything that you need. Whether it’s something replaceable that you forgot or you don’t have room for, consider buying it once you arrive.

Don’t forget it – Remember to bring along any items that can’t be replaced or it’s unnecessary to have extras at home! Some ideas:

  • Laptop charger
  • Pillows, blankets, and sheets
  • Personal care items like tweezers, bandaids, etc that you’d rather not have to run to a store when you need them
  • Scissors
  • Tape and command strips
  • School supplies – you could buy these before classes but you might be too busy
  • Clothes hangers
  • Long (6′ or longer) phone charging cord
  • Water bottle
  • Fan – these sell out quickly at the local stores
  • Towels

It may not be everything you’ll need but there’s a few things that are easy to forget that you’ll regret. So finish up the packing, have one last weekend with your high school friends, and download the Purdue app.

We’ll see you on Monday!

Freshman Boot Camp: Money Saving Tips for Students

10 Aug

Jim Wang, Wallet Hacks
wallethacks.com

College is a fantastic time of exploration, freedom, and growth.

It’s also a time when many of our habits are formed, especially those about money and saving. These habits can have a ripple effect on your life so solidifying a few good practices today can help you better manage the future.

I have a list of 40+ money tips for college students, which cover the basics like emergency funds and budgeting, but today I wanted to share an extra set of just money saving tips every college student needs.6 Easy Money Saving Tips

Avoid credit card debt at all costs

It’s so easy to charge everything to plastic. Whether it’s textbooks, equipment, or a pizza, make sure that you pay off your credit card bill in full each month.

It’s so tempting to pay the minimum and push the debt off another month, but that will result in you paying hundreds of dollars (if not more!) in interest for nothing. If you don’t believe me, you can use this calculator to do the math yourself and find out how much that $20 pizza will cost you!

That’s money you can use to save for your retirement, for a new car, or your first house. Avoiding debt, especially high interest credit card debt, is priority number one after graduation.

Start budgeting

Budgeting isn’t the most fun thing to do but getting in the habit early is a good idea. When you budget, you have a better sense of where your money is going.

You can use tools like Mint or Personal Capital to help automate the process and when you’re older, you’ll appreciate the wealth of historic information you’re recording now.

Cook more, eat out less

Your studies and your social activities will probably take up a big chunk of your time, so you’ll be tempted to eat out more than you cook if you’re not on a university meal plan.

Resist the temptation! Eating at a restaurant, even a quick service one, is far more expensive than cooking at home. In the beginning, you’ll be terrible at it. Everyone is.

But stick with it and try to cook as much as you can. It’s healthier, cheaper, and you’ll get better the more often you do it.

Take advantage of student discounts

Businesses give student discounts all the time. They know that students don’t make a lot of money and they still want your business, so they’re willing to give you a break if they know you’re a student.

Always keep your student ID on you and ask if a student discount is available – you might be pleasantly surprised.

Use your student loan for tuition only!

Some student loans are deposited directly into your student account and some are deposited directly into your bank account. If you have one of the latter, do not use the money for anything other than tuition and school related expenses.

If you have no other choice, you can use it on necessities but your goal should be to avoid debt as much as possible. Sometimes you don’t have any other options, and that’s understandable, but make sure before you saddle yourself with student debt.

Earn a little cash in your spare time

We all have downtime during the day and on weekends – try to find a way to turn that time into money.

Whether it’s taking on a side gig, earning some cash online through surveys, or something bigger – building a side hustle that earns a little extra money can pay dividends in the long run. There are a lot of sites online that will pay you money for small segments of work, or gigs, and you can easily finish them in 5-15 minutes of down time.

Jim Wang writes about money on his personal finance blog, Wallet Hacks. Get his strategies and tactics for getting ahead financially and in life by joining his free newsletter.

Freshman Boot Camp: Your Student Discount

9 Aug

Casey Doten, Financial Aid Counselor – Purdue University

Student discounts are one of the nicest perks you get from being a student. Combined with all the events that hand out giveaways and free food, using your student discount can help keep you within a budget.

So here’s a list of places that you can get a student discount at! Just keep in mind that this isn’t everywhere that offers one, so always ask when you buy something if they offer a discount!

StudentID Discount.png

Shopping

  • Amazon: Join Amazon Student for free two-day shipping for your first 6 months. Just remember to cancel it before the 6 months is up if you’re not interested in subscribing for $49 a year (50% of standard Prime cost). Not to mention with the Amazon Stores in the Union and Krach, you can get packages delivered directly to campus!
  • Apple: $5/ month Apple Music subscription and a bunch of random discounts on macs, iPads, and other products
  • Banan Republic: 15% off
  • Charlotte Russe: 10% off
  • Dell: $150 off PCs
  • FedEx: 20-30% discount on documents and packages
  • Microsoft: 10% off
  • Toms: Free shipping on all orders
  • Sam’s Club: $40 membership plus $15 gift card given to you

Entertainment & Travel

  • Amtrack: 15% off if you book ahead
  • Wabash Landing Movie Theater: Save on your movie tickets $.50 – $1.50 depending on the time of the movie. They also have a rewards program that is free to join for free concessions.
  • Rugged Xscape Escape Room: $2.00 off
  • Purdue sporting events!

There are also other discounts around the area, but unfortunately they are difficult to track down individually online.

Food*

  • Arby’s: 10% off
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: 10% off
  • Burger King: 10% off
  • Chick-fil-A: Free drinks with a meal
  • Chipotle: Free drink with a meal
  • Dairy Queen: 10% off
  • Kroger/ Payless: 5% off
  • Papa John’s 10-20% off
  • Pizza Hut: 10-20% off
  • Qdoba: Free drink with a meal and burrito meal for $5
  • Subway: 10% off
  • Taco Bell: 10% off

*All of these are depending on the location, but it’s worth it to ask!

Freshman Boot Camp: Budgeting Your Financial Aid Refund

9 Aug

One of the mantras told to college students is to “Live within your means”. While it’s good advice to generally follow, it doesn’t get at how difficult it can be to do so while you’re in college. One of the biggest challenges college students face is that their incoming flow of cash tends to be extremely irregular.Budgeting your Refund.png

You might be sitting on a big pile of cash after your financial aid refund comes in, but if you don’t budget it correctly you’ll be broke before the semester ends. So in order to avoid eating exclusively ramen at the end of the semester you’ll want to come up with a strategy for taking care of your money!

As a student, you probably have three potential avenues to get an incoming cash-flow. They are your financial aid refund, a part-time job, and cash gifts for holidays and your birthday. Your parents might also throw something your way once in a while but no one wants to have to ask just because you weren’t keeping track.

Making a realistic budget can be tough but once you know your income it does get a little bit easier. So total up what you’ll get between your financial aid refund and what you’ll get from work. If you know for sure what you’ll get for gifts you can toss that in, but that’s not a for-sure thing.

Next, start by totaling up all of your projected expenses for each month. Aside from obvious things like rent, utilities, food, and other monthly bills you’ll need to include a projected number for having fun. If you know some times of the year like Grand Prix or Homecoming you’ll be spending extra, try to account for that by varying it up by month.

What’s important here is to make sure that your total income is higher than your total expenditures. If it’s not, there’s going to be a big problem.

Assuming the numbers add up, you’ll have a little bit of a strange result. You’ll have your monthly expenditures but your income will be a combination of paychecks and a one-time refund from your financial aid.

There’s actually a surprisingly simple way to be able to make this into a steady income flow without being tempted by the big number in your checking account.

This method is called using a Holding Account. Basically you take the lump sum of money and deposit it into a bank account and set up recurring transfers to your primary checking account on a monthly basis. This way between your income from work and the transfers you’ll be able to pay your monthly expenses without having the temptation to make a big impulse purchase.

If you want to de-automate it a bit, you could actually have them both as checking accounts and write a check from your holding account to yourself on a bi-weekly or monthly basis and deposit it into your other checking account.

This system is not fool-proof but it combines the ability to pay your bills and have some fun while also putting up a small barrier to the full sum to keep you from tapping out your semester’s funds on a whim.

Something to note: make sure that your holding account doesn’t have any fees related to minimum transactions or minimum balance if you can. It doesn’t make any sense to pay one bank to hold your money when there’s plenty of others that’ll do it for free.

If you find that your financial aid refund is going to be much more than you’ll need to meet your expenses and you’re taking loans, it’s worth looking into reducing what you borrow. Remember that not only do you have to pay back what you borrow, you’ll be accruing interest on most loans until the day they are paid off.

Freshman Boot Camp: How to Get Around Campus at Purdue

8 Aug

After arriving on campus and getting settled into your new place, you’ll inevitably get a little antsy to check out the new community you live in. While the West Lafayette area is quite walk-able, there are many times where your destination is beyond what you can reasonably travel by foot. So if the Tippecanoe Mall is calling you, or there’s a cool place in Lafayette you want to check out here are some tips for each method of transportation!

Driving your own car

The main issue to get out of the way if you’re bringing your own car to campus is where are you going to park it? If you live off-campus, it’s good to know if you’ll have your own parking lot and how plowing will work with that in the winter. If you are parking on the street, you’ll want to know the applicable plowing rules as well!

For freshmen living on campus there is a lottery for parking spots. These permits cost $150 and you can’t start parking in these spots until October 2, so plan accordingly! Be sure to check out Parking’s Website for any additional info if you have special circumstances such as off-campus classes or regular off-campus medical visits.

Other than parking you’ll want to be cognizant of the cost of insurance, gas, and the other expenses your car will rack up. I’d heavily recommend leaving the car at home unless it’s absolutely necessary for some reason. You can always use one of the other options to get around!

Getting Around Campus.jpg

City Bus

The City Bus is free for students! Just be prepared with your Purdue ID in-hand and you can use it to get anywhere that the bus goes. Be sure to check out what route the bus is on by looking at the sign at the top of the bus. The buses run 24/7, but with varying times depending on the time of the day so you will want to check out the different resources available on your phone to check times.

Don’t forget that you can combine the bus with biking! If you just want to bike to the bus stop and then take your bike on-campus there are rack on the front of the bus you can use to hang your bike while you ride the bus.

Biking

Purdue is a pretty large campus, so going by foot isn’t always practical. Bikes are one of the best ways to get around campus and the many bike lanes and parking stations reflect that. You can bring your own or even look into the rental bikes available all over campus (and some in downtown Lafayette). Be sure to register your bicycle to help protect against theft or provide contact info if it is believed your bike has been abandoned.

Don’t have a bike or don’t want to transport it here? Purdue Surplus has tons of bikes that were abandoned previously begging for a new owner. Quality bicycles can be had for around $10!

Related to bikes, skateboards and rollerblading are popular options to get around. It’s very common to see plenty of students longboarding between their classes throughout the day.

Driving a car that’s not your own

Purdue has partnered with Zipcar to provide a way for students who don’t have their own vehicle on campus to rent a car for a relatively reasonable rate. There are about 6 locations around campus to acquire a Zipcar. The cost of insurance and gas is included in the rental so you just have a flat rate to take care of!

All in all, there’s plenty of different ways to get around both campus and the Greater Lafayette Area. By combining the options above you can get pretty much anywhere in a quick and efficient manner.

Investing in Your Future Career in a Global Economy

8 Aug

Annette Benson, Communication Strategist – Purdue Center for Intercultural Learning

Recently, a student wrote to Purdue Confidential:

I’m a…student who has been on campus for a full year now, and, although I’ve made a lot of friends, most of them are from my same ethnic group. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a pretty outgoing guy; I like to meet new people and make friends, but I just can’t seem to bridge the gap and make more…friends. I do have some acquaintances I made through my classes, but we don’t really chill like I do with my other friends who are from the same ethnic group as me.

Intercultural Learning.jpg

When Purdue students begin their college career, it seems like four years will stretch on forever, but the college years actually go by relatively quickly. Before students know it, the time is up, and some goals were not reached. It is easy to miss out on creating intercultural friendships during the college years, and then, when it is time to work in a diverse workforce, regret sets in as graduates realize how valuable intercultural knowledge is to working in a global economy.

With the start of a new school year, let’s review some opportunities to strengthen intercultural knowledge and friendships here on the Purdue campus:

The Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) (https://www.purdue.edu/IPPU/CILMAR/) offers a variety of learning opportunities for students to interact across difference:

  • Boiler OUT!—A cohort of 200 students, this program overseen by Carrie Anne Thomas, gives back to the Greater Lafayette community by performing acts of service and gives students from many different countries the opportunity to work side by side.
  • International Friendship Program (IFP)—Matching 600+ students a year with area families, Beth Tucker provides the opportunity for international students to learn more about the Greater Lafayette Area. Lest domestic students feel left out, Beth can also give valuable advice for how domestic students can reach out to international students, especially at the holidays./
  • One Community Grant—Providing up to $2500 to student organizations who provide a concrete plan for how they intend to co-create a program with a student organization different than themselves, the OCG is overseen by Leighton Buntain in the CILMAR office, along with colleagues from Purdue diversity centers.
  • Intercultural Certifications—Giving students the opportunity to improve their intercultural attitudes, skills, and knowledge, the CILMAR certificate programs are theme-based around leadership, community building, career enhancement, and integration.
  • Classroom Presentations—Intercultural specialists show up across campus to provide interactive and thought-provoking academic presentations.

Besides CILMAR, other opportunities for intercultural interaction can be acquired by taking part in activities offered by:

  • Diversity CentersThe Black Cultural Center, the Latino Cultural Center, the Native American Educational and Cultural Center, the Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center, and the LGBTQ Center all are welcoming, inclusive places waiting to greet you, regardless of your identity.
  • University Residences Global—Beginning its seventh year of providing intercultural opportunities for students living within the residence halls, UR Global, under the direction of Wilfrido Cruz–offers a variety of outings with intercultural friends to learn more about our campus, the Greater Lafayette Area, and Indiana.
  • Boiler Gold Rush and Boiler Gold Rush International—Both of these fun and exciting programs overseen by the Student Success professional and student staff offer countless opportunities to reach out across difference from the first day of a student’s life on campus.
  • Diversity offices within the colleges—Every college has professional diversity and inclusion staff ready to assist students who want to get involved in intercultural learning within an academic or social setting.

Why should you invest in intercultural learning?

  • Intercultural friendships can be more challenging and rewarding than other friendships as students learn to negotiate difference in real world settings.
  • The career pay off can be enormous as alumni will be able to prove to employers that they are the candidates ready to succeed because they not only understand difference but celebrate it.

Our best intercultural investment advice: Before having a career and salary on the line, begin investing in your career capital today by learning the skills you need to succeed in a global economy while still in college.

Looking for a School Year Job?

3 Aug

www.purdue.edu/mymoney

broadcast-purdue

Are you worried you won’t have enough money to have fun while you’re on campus this fall? If your parents have finally gotten sick of you asking them for money, you might consider getting a part-time job on campus.

I know, I know, being a student is a full-time job, but how else are you supposed to keep up with the latest trends and enjoy a cup of Starbucks every few days? Especially without racking up more debt than you may already have from student loans?

Earning a little extra cash during the school year not only helps you financially, but as reported by Student Employment Services at Purdue University, working 8-12 hours per week may actually help in academic performance and student retention. Probably because working students learn better time management skills.

Now that you’ve decided (or have been bullied into by your parents) to get a part-time job during the school year, START EARLY! This will give you an edge on everyone else searching for part-time jobs near campus.  If you want to work on-campus you have a variety of options, or if you’re willing to go off-campus, you will have even more options! To start your search for on-campus employment I would recommend you start here:

Be sure to follow @Hire_A_Boiler on Twitter for daily tweets about job openings that were posted that day and other job searching tips!

Other options for employment near campus include the bookstores (either Follett’s or University Bookstore.) Also, there are plenty of restaurants and stores around campus that hire students. Just walking down the Chauncey Hill or the Levee opens more options for employment. There are plenty of restaurants there and a few shops that hire students.

Make sure you get there early though; they often have to wait and see if their regular employees will be returning in the fall, so it’s good to get your name and face in their brains. There are enough employers hiring at any given time, that if you want a job you should be able to find one!

Can’t find anything there? If you are looking through alternative resources to search for jobs online BE CAREFUL!  Some online job postings sites may not screen their job postings and it could lead to a scam.

You can research the company’s track record and see if any complaints have been made through the Better Business Bureau. A safer option would be visiting a particular company’s website to see if they are hiring, or you could even call or stop by and ask for an application. Both West Lafayette and Lafayette have companies that hire part-time workers, and most of them are often hiring.

If your job search isn’t going as well as you would like, don’t give up! Maybe you could work at Starbucks instead of that little coffee shop on Chauncey. If you have a close friend who works somewhere, ask if they can get you an “in” and have them tell their boss how great you are.

Good luck in your search!

Be sure to leave any job openings nearby or job searching tips in the comments! 

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