The Digital Journalism Blog

Holiday shopping does cause more hardships to college students

By Melissa Pierson

Holiday shopping can cause more stress to students, when the shopping time and final exams are at the same time. Some students try to plan this trip, and others are worried and know that they might be unable to do their holiday shopping. With six quotes from college students from six different colleges, to show what they go through and their views on this time of the year.

Holiday shopping can be one of the most difficult occasions of the year, however this can be even worse for college students. For students are trying to pay of student loans and then have the difficulties to purchase gifts for their friends and family.

Holiday shopping takes a lot of planning, and when the holidays arrive so does final exam time for students. Then students mainly focus their time on studying and getting ready for their finals, leaving the very minimal time for holiday shopping

“Christmas shopping is difficult for college students because they usually don’t have a full time job to pay for gifts and it usually isn’t their first priority with finals and the end of the semester,” said Rachel Cooke, a junior at Elmhurst College. “I am a poor college student and I am going to make homemade gifts instead if buying anything.”

“Christmas shopping is a hardship because I am an unemployed college student,” said Michelle Singh, a junior at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “I don’t have money, nor the time, to go shopping when I am constantly preparing for finals during this time of year.  And, when people suggest making gifts, that requires a time commitment that, again, I just am a stressed-out college student.”

Another problem for students is that most students don’t work full time jobs, and if they do happen to work part time their money goes towards paying of their loans. So they may relay on their parents for anything they may need.

“It’s hard being a college student during the shopping season because we can barely make ends meet with the loans piling up and not having a lot of money to eat a nice home cooked meal every night like we’re used to,” said Briana Phouthavong, a freshman at Joliet Junior College.

“The only things college kids want for Christmas this year are thing their parents can’t afford,” said Marie Del Bosque a junior at Bradley University.

Some students have figured out ways to plan their holiday shopping, with setting aside money and planning out their holiday shopping. Another way that is catching on quickly is online shopping, which does save time from having to drive to a store to look and hopefully find something to buy. The only down side to this way of holiday shopping is that it may cost more money to the students, for they have to pay for shipping and handling.

“I had to set aside money for holiday shopping when you have your needs to take care of, said Zachary Dowd, a junior at Roosevelt University. “I shop online because I can always find a promo code or a gift with purchase that you can’t get in a site, and it also saves time then going to a store. My first two years of college I spent way too much money; when you live in the city it’s hard to save money. I also don’t think like other college students, because they are selfish and just want laptops and stuff.”

Holiday shopping can be most difficult time for many college students. While most have just given up on buying gifts, others do prepare and hope that this time can be easy for them. With holiday shopping and final exam time at the same time, many college students are too stressed out, and their shopping most likely doesn’t happen. Online shopping has bought a similar way to help with the shopping, and sometimes have better deals than stores do.


This graph shows the amount of national student debt of 2012 compared to the predicated amount spent on holiday shopping in 2012.


To gain a view of how much money is spent on college loans, this graph shows six colleges and their tuition and the amount of average debt.

This map shows all the students that quoted and the tuition they pay, with some other details.

This video from the thoughts of Marie Del Bosque, a junior at Bradley University, talking about her thoughts on holiday shopping, with topics of being a student and other things on her mind about this time of the year. With the some idea of what students are really going through, with a first-hand experienced student.


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