Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cheapness of Grad Students

Look, I realize grad students are cheap.

It's the nature of the game. Everybody's on stipend, here. Unless you have an alternate source of income, (I'm looking at you, married-with-working-spouse guys in the lab) we are all about the same. I have side gigs, but that's not the point.

1) I happily consume my free pizza at student seminars with everyone else, and I volunteer to help prepare food for coffee hour for grad students.
2) I use student discounts wherever possible (hello, student card). Yay for 15% off bus tickets at Greyhound!
3) I get my textbooks from, and when the professor says we can use the previous edition I usually do that.
4) I carefully plan my trips and adventures, and don't mind sharing coed hotel (or hostel, as in London) rooms with friends.
5) I got my extra computer monitor and my TV off of Craigslist. Funny story, the monitor. For a pristine 17" widescreen flat panel, I paid $20. It "seemed to be a fair price for a used monitor" said the ivy league senior with daddy's money.... can we say out of touch with the real world? But hey, I didn't complain...

These are all good things, people. But there are certain places I'd like to point out to my fellow grad students I've met along the way that cheapness is not acceptable:

1) Don't take four pieces of the cake and a tupperware full of the fruit I just spent the last 45 minutes helping cut into individual portions. Especially when there are 150 more people behind you who'd like to get a snack. In fact, please don't bring tupperware to events with free food and leave. Stay for the flippin' event!
2) Don't ask me to pay for half of the gas to get to the grocery store, when you were going anyway. That's just rude to ask of a friend - if you have to calculate mileage, please just let it rest...
3) Buy the textbook, for crying out loud. If you are in grad school, you should be taking the class because it is at least somewhat useful, or interesting. The books should be useful. And don't get the "international" paper-back version they sell on eBay, the paperbacks get torn within the semester, and you want a reference.
4) Instead of making the trip awkward for all those involved because you are nickel- and dime-ing every meal and expense, try going on less trips and having a bit more to spend on each. That way, you won't make us buy you a water at the basketball game.
5) Don't, for heavens sake, steal the batteries from the remotes in the TV lounges provided for students. Or the HDMI cable. Or the chairs in the lounge. Just let me watch a game once in a while, with all equipment present and accounted for...

Please and thank you.

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