Written by Jane Adams
1. Get a credit card.
So, your interest rate matches your age (OMG, Forever 21% gurl!) but microwavable ramen is just an inedible prop to Instagram in horror (#collegediet) before flushing down the toilet and ordering sushi with your fresh new plastic, right? No mom or dad’s name on this ticket to the five stars, at least not ’til the Thanksgiving after you graduate, when debt collectors start calling your parents’ house, where you live again because your credit score matches your new post-grad stress-eating-comfort-food weight.
2. Become a sugar baby.
You told your friends you made an account on SweetBae to be “ironically feminist”, but the only thing ironic is that all those meals paid for by a spray-tanned guy who’s older than your dad were about the same cost as your post-grad intensive therapy for sexual trauma. At least you didn’t have to eat ramen. #FiftyShadesofOrange
3. Steal from work.
So, it shouldn’t really be called stealing, since it was in the dumpster and now you have giardia complications for life, but you’re not about to get all uppity and entitled by demanding a livable wage! I mean, all your 80-hour-a-week poverty-line co-workers already think you’re a spoiled brat for only having to work part-time while you starve to attain a (decreasingly promising) degree. When your boss starts spraying the trash with bleach, just take handfuls from the walk-in cooler. After all, giardia is more fun when it’s shared!
4. Get another line of credit.
Turns out, online creditors doesn’t care if your credit cards are maxed out! Once your little slips of plastic stop working at the grocery store, you can still order food online using your credit line with PovertyPal. Maybe all you really want is some fresh produce, but your best option now is to shell out $35 for a large salad and a veggie pizza delivered right to your dorm room door by an Uber-driving 45-year-old delivery man, because somehow that’s the way affordability works in Corporate America!
5. Become a condiment chef.
Once you’ve got that can of tuna from a house party you crashed, some eggs from the emergency food shelf (where refugees looked quizzically at your iPhone X), and a sprig of parsley from your neighbor’s porch herb garden, you’re set for the week! Spend a few hours making passes at the condiment section of the local co-op until you’ve amassed enough mayo, hot sauce, mustard, and balsamic vinaigrette to make deviled eggs, tuna salad, and egg salad for the week. Make sure you use extra large white plates (or just the lid to your neighbor’s compost bucket) to create a ‘gourmet’ effect, drizzling condiments in a cross-hatch pattern. Tell your friends you’re thinking of dropping out to pursue “culinary arts.”
6. Dine and dash.
This one’s a classic, but don’t be ratchet about it. Borrow your roommate’s fur coat, pocket some costume jewelry from T.M. Jaxx, bust out that wine-red lipstick you found on the bus last week, and take seven of your best gals out for an 8-top at that bougie place two towns over. Maybe eat outside during the day so it’s not conspicuous that you’re all wearing sunglasses, and choose that evening to have a slumber party and bleach each other’s hair, because highlights are so in this summer, and because the local news is definitely posting that CCTV footage on their Tweeter. Now you’re fed and stylish!
7. Get pregnant.
Not only will this give you a totally valid excuse for finishing your degree at some vague “later date,” but now you’re eating for two! Take this to mean that from the first “+” on your pee-stick ’til that unfortunate soul is screaming in your old baby crib that your parents were hoping to give you ten years from now, you’re entitled to eat enough pasta for two Olympic swimmers on a daily basis. Blame stress for your weight gain and the baby for your lack of education, knowing full well that you told Jason you were still on the pill. His child support payments will ease the guilt.
8. Get a real job.
Oh, you can’t work 40 hours a week and still attend class full-time? Maybe you should’ve thought of that before you invested in your future. There’s always the graveyard shift. Oh, you wanted to work in your field while studying for your degree? Well, honey, unpaid internships are just the way business works nowadays. Maybe your creepy CEO will sext you his wrinkled semi-chub, and you can blackmail him back for just enough money to buy groceries this month. But according to Daveslist, there’s always that adult video production company hiring “interns” on a stipend this summer!
9. Go to the dining hall.
We know, it’s not actually edible, but it’s the only food source covered by your student loans. It gives you the runs? Well shit, some celebrities pay top dollar for laxatives to shed water weight that fast! Maybe the dining hall isn’t awake when you are for 3am drunchies, but accessorize with a fashionably oversize, plastic-lined purse the next time you’re there, and stock it with desserts as elegantly as you can. After all, what’s more queen-like than feasting exclusively on cookies and cake like Marie Antoinette? Then when you graduate to work in finance for higher education and they ask you what students are supposed to eat, you can just say, “Let them eat cake!” just like you did, you fabulous regent of a doomed education economy.