Everyone needs little treats or breaks to reward them for goals they achieved or just to refuel after a marathon of hard work and stress. College students have long vacations to look forward to, but what about when you set personal milestones for yourself or just need a pick-me-up after an especially hard couple of weeks? On a college budget, you’ll damage your credit or annoy your parents if you go crazy with a real indulgence like a fancy pair of shoes or new stereo. But there are still teensy ways you can treat yourself, and you’ll be just as happy to work for them as a bigger present if you plan ahead and keep your eyes on the prize.
Good food is an especially tempting draw for college students, and while it’s not healthy to think of food as a reward or game (it can backfire and lead to emotional eating or an eating disorder), you can get away with indulging in a special food experience every once in a while. Weekly trips to your favorite diner could set you back more than you’d like, but if you save it for birthdays and after big tests, you and your friends don’t have to feel guilty about splurging. Buying “the good beer,” or even just picking up a single cupcake or slice of actual pizza — not the suspiciously smelling kind at the dining hall — can make your day.
Other mini indulgences might be a new shampoo, a manicure or a trip to a vintage clothing shop — with a budget in mind of course. Bring along a friend to prevent you going overboard and to make it more fun. A new CD instead of illegally downloading music or a DVD are other ideas. If you and some friends are looking for something special to do together, you can all chip in for a potluck picnic or dorm party: if everyone brings a little something, you’ll end up with a pretty big event. Plus, sharing an achievement by celebrating with friends and being social adds to your relief and excitement, which doesn’t cost anything.
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