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The Hilltop


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Students in the City:

I work at a Restaurant byTratonia Spicer Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Ben Schumin Some students frequent Pentagon City Mall, located in Arlington, Va., more often than Founders Library.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Spending by Carolyn Smith Contributing Writer Kristen Otterblad, 25 year old University of Tennessee graduate, thought most Howard University students spend a majority of their money on clothing and other superficial items but her opinion was completely changed after having a chance to hear different students talk about their spending habits. She was shocked to hear what splurging meant to current Howard students. “I’m a college student; I’m broke. The only splurging I do is on food,” joked Brittany Dorsey, junior marketing major. Dorsey tries her best to keep her kitchen stocked with groceries but there are times when she will run out of food and be forced to buy over-priced takeout. “Don’t get me wrong, there are things I would love to splurge on. It’s just my budget won’t allow me. Whatever food I can find, I consider a splurge.”   Though Dorsey thought she was making a joke, many Howard students share her sentiment. Dorsey rarely has the opportunity to go shopping for expensive clothing or pamper herself like she wish she could. Wilbur Carpenter, sophomore international business major from Petersburg, Va., is able to do a bit more shopping than Dorsey but admits he spends most of his money

Around Town

on food as well. “I was in D.C. for the summer and I found all these places to eat,” he said. “Every time I go out my money goes to food.” He fits shopping into his budget by shopping sales instead of buying items for full price. Carpenter said his spending habits have changed dramatically since graduating from high school. “When I was in high school, I spent money on things like clothing which I did not necessarily need,” he said. “Now, most of my money goes into food.” Kelsey Lyles, junior sociology major from Chicago, likes to spend her money on her hair. “I save up to get my hair done,” she said. “I found a hair salon that was out of my budget, but loved it so much I had to keep going.”  Once a month she spends $70 at Corte hair salon a basic wash, blow dry and style. Other salon prices are usually $45 and below for the same basic services. “The people at Corte are so nice and they do an amazing job on my hair,” she said. “Originally I thought the price was ridiculous but at the end of the day it’s worth the money.”  Otterblad admits in college she shopped just as much as she does now. “When I was in school, I got an allowance from my parents that I would save up and buy a designer hand bag.”

Otterblad was not willing to share how much her allowance was but one of her most prized hand bags from college was a Louis Vuitton hobo bag that retails for $979. She was able to obtain her bag after one month of allowance.   When told how different her college budget is from current students, which is normally anywhere from $150 to $250 she chalks it up to the location of her school, which was located in Chattanooga, Tenn.  “I went to school in the south, and I feel like there’s a much bigger emphasis on having designer clothes and bags than there is in D.C. I got sucked into it; people in the south tend to have older money so I was constantly trying to keep up and fit in.” said Otterblad, who does not feel that her family is considered “old money.”  Otterblad, who has had to deal with debt herself, wants to make sure college students don’t make the same mistakes she did. She advises students to not open a credit card. If they must, keep the limit low or students could end up in debt they won’t be able to get out of. Since being in debt herself and seeing many of her friends still struggling with debt from college, she advises students to also save half of everything that students earn. Then students will find it a little bit easier to splurge later in life on things that really matter.

A Taste of Africa Sept. 25, 2010 Come on out to a Taste of Africa in Pikesville,Md. and enjoy cuisine, music and dances from countries all over the continent. Event lasts from 5-8p.m.

Stephanie Norwick, a senior accounting major, starts her day at 7 a.m., waking up to shower and get ready for her 8:10 a.m. class. She has three classes today, and between classes Norwick does homework and studying. At 4 p.m. she gets ready for work, bringing along her homework assignments for the night, in hopes of getting a small break between guests to read the chapter. Norwick takes the metro, a 45 minute ride to The Cheesecake Factory in Friendship Heights, where she works as a server. Cheesecake Factory closes at 11 p.m., so if a table comes in at 10:58 p.m., and sits in her section, she will be there until midnight, and can possibly miss the last train back to campus.

have is serving at a busy restaurant. Long hours, picky customers and low pay don’t serve as a worthy incentive, especially since,unless you are a host, your paychecks are based mostly on tips. “I think that is the hardest thing, money is not consistent, you never know how much money you will end up with at the end of the night, you just hope it’s going to be a good shift,” said Blocker. There are many benefits for working at a restaurant, one being that most restaurants are very flexible when it comes to school schedules. The money, though, sometimes inconsistent, can still help out a lot when it comes to paying for school or extra-curricular activities. Roman Mitchell, a senior business administration major at American University, uses his serving job as an opportunity to work on his people skills.

By the time Norwick normally gets home, she tries to finish the work due the next morning, but finds it hard to finish everything on time. During the second week of school, she already thought she had bitten off more than she could chew. “It’s a lot and sometimes I feel like something has got to give, but I realize that I am paying my way through school and I need to just learn how to balance both my job and classes,” said Norwick. While in school, it is not uncommon for students to juggle school and a job. “It’s rough working 35 hours a week and being a full -time student; it’s like balancing two jobs,” said Michael Blocker, a senior actuary science and education major. Blocker is paying to go to Howard University on his own, “I’ve been working at the Cheesecake Factory for two years now; I stay because they give me a flexible schedule and help me pay tuition.” Many students find themselves working in retail, fast food and offices but one of the hardest jobs to

“I decided to work at a restaurant because I wanted to work at my social skills; I was having trouble with talking to people I didn’t know. When it comes to serving, I have to talk to so many people and look like I’m naturally talkative, which I’m not,” said Mitchell. Jarel Wisinski, a manager at The Cheesecake Factory, explains that there aren’t any preferences when looking at new hires, whether the applicant is a student or not, doesn’t matter. “Majority of our staff just happens to be students, from universities all over D.C.; that’s just how it ended up.” Great restaurants to work at, as either a server or a host/ hostess, that may also be hiring at the moment, are The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and B.Smith. Advice that was pretty much consistent from all of the servers was to, “know how to prioritize!”

Virgin Mobile Freefest Sept. 25, 2010

National Book Festival Sept. 25, 2010

Clarendon Day Sept. 25, 2010

At the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. M.I.A., T.I., Ludacris and Pavement with hit the stage to rock out.

Celebrate the joys of reading! Library of Congress will be hosting its 10th annual Book Festival on the National Mall. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama will be the chairs of the festival. Event lasts from 11-5:30p.m.

In Arlington, Va. near the Clarendon Metro on the Orange line, the city will be hosting its biggest party for the 13th year. Come out and enjoy food, music, art and fun. Lasts from 11 a.m-5p.m.

The Hilltop



Virgin Mobile Freefest Sept. 25, 2010 Thursday, September 23, 2010 Clarendon Day Sept. 25, 2010 7 A Taste of Africa Sept. 25, 2010 byTratoni...


Virgin Mobile Freefest Sept. 25, 2010 Thursday, September 23, 2010 Clarendon Day Sept. 25, 2010 7 A Taste of Africa Sept. 25, 2010 byTratoni...