Southern Miss students are facing the embarrassment of gift-giving, or lack thereof, this holiday season. While some are working multiple jobs, others simply can’t afford to buy their mom the espresso machine she desires.
Sometimes Black Friday sales just aren’t enough for college students. Many are struggling to buy gifts for family members and friends while surviving on a college income.
Junior biochemistry major Thomas Warner-Sell uses Amazon as a cheaper alternative while looking for the best deals on gifts. He said he finds it difficult to shop with a college schedule and instead likes to find gifts online.
As for not having enough money, Warner-Sell said he finds it easier to be honest or to limit himself to giving only a few gifts during the holiday season.
“Normally, my parents will get gifts and say it’s from me, and I buy gifts for people I see a lot, like my girlfriend or close family members,” Warner-Sell said.
Warner-Sell said he likes to save his money ahead of time in order to afford the gifts he plans on giving. He said he sets money aside after paying his bills and looks for sales when shopping.
“If you can’t afford it, your friends and family will understand,” Warner-Sell said. “Also, know that it’s not the gift that matters, it’s the thought.”
Many students shop online instead of having to take time out of their schedules to buy gifts. Others turn to DIY projects in order to save their funds. While some students find a creative way to make their gifts, others stick to buying them.
Sophomore nursing major Katelyn Speed said buying gifts is easier than making them. She said she has never tried making gifts and loves giving gifts to friends and family more than receiving them. Speed also limits the amount of gifts she gives in order to save money.
“I have a large family, so if I bought gifts for everyone, I would be broke,” Speed said. “I want to get everyone in my family amazing gifts, but I also have to stay on a budget.”
Speed has two jobs and tries to online shop in order to make room for her busy college schedule. She said she tries to start saving early and looks for sales as often as possible.
“There are many ways to afford gifts on a college budget, but starting to save earlier in the year will make it easier to come up with the money and buy gifts for those you love,” Speed said.
Many students went shopping on Black Friday and also took part in Cyber Monday in order to save and buy gifts for the lowest price.
Junior biology major Victoria Barrett said she saved up money by working extra shifts at her job and limits herself to buying one gift per family member.
Barrett looks forward to giving gifts to her family members and likes to shop in person in order to see what they’d like the most.
“I have three brothers and a sister plus my mom and dad to shop for,” Barrett said. “I don’t always shop on Black Friday, but I am always looking out for the sales.”
Barrett said she recommends shopping online in the case of a busy schedule, but likes to look for deals in person if at a convenient location.
“I would totally recommend online shopping,” Barrett said. “It’s so easy as a college student, and you’ll find more deals than you would think.”