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Warning, Freshmen

Ryan Sydlik | Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Watch out freshmen, the Man is trying to exploit you. And no, I’m not talking about a creepy old man hiding in the bushes near Saint Mary’s Road. I’m talking about Notre Dame’s own employees trying to shake you down for your hard earned cash.

You’ve probably been given advice about getting to bed at a decent hour, going to class, getting to know your roommate and when and where to study. But one thing that no one ever told me when I was a freshman was how to save a few bucks.

Well, you won’t have to suffer through that. I am feeling very generous today.

There is a large building called the Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore. You will probably hear your friends describe how that place is wiping them out. Don’t be a fellow victim.

The one useful thing student government has ever done throughout its history is to require the Bookstore to post its books online. Take advantage of this.

There are plenty of Web sites on which you can buy books. Ebay, Half.com, Froogle and MySimon are a few of the great places to go.

The bookstore will post signs to scare you away from doing this, claiming that you will buy the wrong books or that you be the victim of outright fraud.

But being that you probably have an SAT score above 1350, I’m sure you are competent enough to spend just a little time to check that you are buying the right book from a reputable source.

And of course, there is NDSP. In September, NDSP has a bike auction in which they auction off bikes that people had a good reason for abandoning on campus.

Expect decrepit bikes to go for a value equal to their original sale price, and expect bikes that are actually in good shape to be quickly snatched by local bike sellers who do this for a living.

If you do find a cheap bike, keep in mind that you could likely pay for it in the end with your medical bills due to its poor condition.

It could even be a big conspiracy. You buy the bike and severely injure yourself. Then NDSP officers keep their jobs by giving you a MEDEVAC.

Nevertheless, a bike can be a very useful thing on campus, and you will never accumulate parking tickets when using one. Some students buy $40 dollar kids bikes at Wal-Mart and look silly.

But if you are looking for something better, you could also go to a local cycle shop to get a good one or even buy one online along with your books.

Just stay away from Stepan Dome on that day.

You are paying over $40,000 to go to ND. You need not pay more.