Thursday, March 17, 2011

College By The Numbers, Quarter II

Here is the continuation of my "College By the Numbers" series (first quarter here); helping to break down college down into numbers you can relate to. Everything from change found while doing laundry to textbooks to meal plans.
Western's Winter quarter of 2011 started January 4 and officially ends March 18 (of course, some people were done by Tuesday this week).
This quarter was 2 months and 14 days--equivalent of 10.53 weeks; or 74 days; or 53 weekdays.
(Oh, the wonders of WolframAlpha, go ahead, try it).

And here are The Numbers for...

Dorm Life
  • Finished one bar of shower soap
  • Used ~2/3 of a bottle of shampoo
  • About halfway through toothpaste (which I've been using since September)
  • Gone through one toothbrush
  • Finished a roll of paper towels
  • Killed a bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Visited home five weekends, out of eleven weeks.
  • Actually used the microwave a lot this quarter--for popcorn mainly.
  • Have found only $0.38 in the laundry machines--I didn't check as frequently.
  • Didn't play pool in my dorm hall, but did at the Viking Union.
  • Spent $4.75 on my Laundry Card, which is rechargeable at the Dining Halls.

    It's a good idea to have like $3 on it just in case you need to have an emergency washing or drying cycle.

Class Materials

  • Finished off one-and-a-half black, ball-point pens taking notes all quarter.
  • Used about half a "vial" of pencil lead for my mechanical pencil doing math problems.
  • Filled a notebook and a half with notes between three classes.
  • Another eighth of a packet of loose-leaf, lined paper for homework assignments.
  • Gone through ~100 Sticky Notes, writing notes to myself and my roommate, as well as make-shift coasters for cups and utensils.
  • Spent $245.08 for four textbooks--the most expensive again being math, at $78.75.

  •  Every student gets $150 of Dining Dollars every quarter, and any leftover money carries over to the next until summer, then they're wiped. Last quarter I only used $58.89, so I had $241.11 at the start of this quarter. I have used $237.86 buying sandwiches, bagels, and coffee outside of the dining hall--I've counted 51 cups of dirty chai (Chai latte with at least one shot of espresso). 
  • Eaten at the dining halls for 176 meals, using all 10 guest passes. This was using the Unlimited Plan, which I've liked a lot because it's flexible and I didn't have to worry about running out. Keep in mind I visited home a few weekends, and the next step down in meal plans is 125 meals. This quarter I kept extensive track on my meals used, since last quarter I estimated the numbers per week--you can see my spreadsheet here.
    An average week for me was 16 meals at the cafeteria, and if I had paid for them myself, rather than using a meal plan, it works out to about $120 a week, or $1,327.50 for 11 weeks (one quarter). According to this file found on WWU's website, the per-quarter cost students pay for an Unlimited Plan is $1,049 during Winter Quarter.
  • Spent $12.32 at the Associated Students Bookstore on things other than textbooks. I was given a $100-gift card to the campus bookstore last September--the $12 was what was left of the card after last quarter. Again, I've only spent like $5 of actual cash on campus. Everything else, like meal plans, printing money, bus passes, and laundry fees, are all on cards.

    I highly recommend even having a gift-card of $50 just to help buy the random things you'll need like paper, pens, and folders, without taking away from your wallet's cash--you know, for movies and stuff.

  • Printed out about 200 pages on the school's computers. Each student gets $25 per quarter, which is about 500 black-and-white pages per quarter (Math breaks it down to ~$0.05 per page, non-color). If a student goes over they must pay for additional pages themselves by buying printing cards.
  • Have yet to actually use the Bellingham Bus System--and thus my ID card to pay for said system, but I will get there eventually. I walked a few times to downtown with my friends, so no bus was needed this quarter.

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