College Connect: Sometimes good news comes with a price tag

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By CODY LAGROW, University of Missouri

Spring always brings new beginnings. For most, the season represents opportunity, growth and improvement.

But ask a college student what spring means, and you might get a different answer.

With final exams and internships looming over students’ heads, spring means studying, stress and surprise.

Like many of my peers, I made it a goal to land an incredible internship prior to my senior year in college. Achieving the goal, I learned last week that I earned an internship with NBC’s TODAY show in New York City.

My initial reaction was to smile. Then jump. Then laugh. Then call my mother. I achieved a goal I was planning for three years and the feeling trumped all obstacles included in the internship process.

After realizing my dream became a reality, it was time to plot my summer in the Big Apple. Questions regarding housing, transportation and food came immediately from my parents. All I could do was smile and explain to them that I had everything under control.

So there I am: a 21-year-old Midwest native with a big city dream and a small town budget.

First obstacle: Housing.

Living in New York is exactly how it is portrayed in the movies: EXPENSIVE. After dreaming of spending my summer in a midtown penthouse for $20,000 a month, I realized life as I knew it would change.

Luckily, I found apartment style dormitories in Manhattan’s Financial District. For $280 a week, I am able to live in Manhattan for $2800 for the summer. Currently, I pay $550 per month for my 2-bedroom/1-bathroom house apartment in the best downtown location.

Now, my rent is doubled and I will live with two others in less than 450 sp. ft of space.

Second obstacle: Education

While in New York City, I will be taking classes as a part of a journalism program through the University of Missouri. Also, my internship counts as academic credit. In total, I will be paying for six hours of tuition, which equals just less than $2,000.

Luckily, through scholarships, a majority of the tuition will be covered.

Third Obstacle: Living

I eat out too much. I shop more than necessary. If it’s entertaining, I will bust open my wallet.  I have yet to determine a spending budget for myself, and I believe it will be my biggest challenge in preparing for New York.

Overall, with tuition, housing and daily spending, this program could cost more than $6000. Equally important, I will be paying for it all while working for free. This summer, I plan to budget more boldly than ever before and change bad spending habits.

Hopefully, my summer experience will add on to an already stable foundation and enhance the quality of my life when I begin adulthood.

LaGrow is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri.







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