With the U.S. deficit growing each day and jobs becoming harder to obtain, PCC students are left with thinking of ways to maintain the social life they once took for granted.”I don’t go out as much,” said 22-year-old anthropology major Vanessa Guzman. “For some of us, the times are changing for the worse.”

“I recently lost my job and I have to rely on my parents for going out. It sucks, knowing that at this age you can’t go out when you want go where you want,” she said.

Patricia Rivera, a 21-year-old psychology major, said she ended up getting two jobs in order to maintain her social life.

“I have two jobs now. I needed the extra cash, just to be able to get away from the stresses of school,” Rivera said. “It’s important to have fun and take a break at times. The problem with that is that most the time, having fun means spending money.”

Though some students have resorted to working more, 26-year-old international relations major George Michaels has other suggestions.

“Instead of buying books, borrow them, photocopy the pages you need, and you can save over $500 dollars a semester,” Michaels said. “And that’s the money I use to go out.”

Rivera adds that when she does go out, she makes plans in advance as to know where she is going and what it is she’ll be doing once she gets there. “I refuse to pay to get in anywhere anymore, and I look for parking on the street, to avoid paying a valet,” she said.

Other students have cut back on what they spend during their nights out.

“I stopped buying food after going out,” said history major Elian Sanchez, “and stopped those late night visits after the club to eat.”

With California high in unemployment rate, students are left with finding alternatives to the usual weekend or night out. Some take the initiative to invite friends over for a night in.

“I stay in a lot, invite people over and have a pot luck,” said Josh Miller, a 27-year-old engineering major. “[People] bring some drinks and watch a movie. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere that always leads to a perfect night.”

The key, many students say, is being resourceful and looking outside of one’s usual comfort zone to find new places to eat and things to do.

“Go out there and be more active. You have a date but no cash? There are beautiful trails around Altadena that provide the perfect setting,” said Michaels. “Become resourceful. Instead of buying just any beer, buy a drink with higher alcohol content. Make your money last longer.”

“There are a lot of good theaters that are cheap and around PCC,” said Guzman. “Drive down Colorado Boulevard and you’ll stumble upon so many restaurants that give student discounts.

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