Gas prices are pinching young adults in East Lansing

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If you’ve gone to fill up your tank at the gas station recently you would’ve noticed that the final receipt was a lot higher than usual. Russia supplies about 10% of U.S. gas and with the new sanctions on barrels of oil coming from Russia the prices are only expected to rise.. As of March 23 the average gas price in East Lansing is $4.13 per gallon.

This has been a dramatic change from this time last year when it was just $2.70 a gallon on average. For young adults and especially college students it has been a struggle paying for gas.

For Jacob Rubis, 20, finding a balance between what to spend his money on has been tough. “Money is important to me as a college student and paying more than $4 at the pump is not helping. I wish I could put that money to other important things like rent and groceries,” said Rubis.  

Many college students are trying to find opportunities for work and internships that require travel off campus. This includes a lot of back and forth traveling that can really eat up the paycheck. A lot of these internships include unpaid opportunities and therefore the students are sacrificing a hefty amount of money to work for free.

“I personally do not have a car on campus so the prices aren’t a worry for me. Unfortunately, my roommate has to drive to both class and work while paying for her own gas,” said Jenna Faybrick, an education major at Michigan State.

Michael Koski is a senior at MSU and has been one of the many people looking at other ways to get around. “I have made it more of a point to carpool with friends and take the bus when I can. I also only fill up half a tank at a time hoping prices go down,” said Koski.

“If I lived closer to campus, I would definitely be riding my bike to classes to save some extra money,” said Rubis. The marketing major lives about a five-minute drive from the Michigan State campus.

Finding other modes of transportation can lead to increased opportunities for exercise and a healthier lifestyle. Some students like Rubis have no choice but to drive.

Faybrick said, “My mom stays at home to take care of the family so these prices don’t make it any easier on her.” This is especially hard for students like Faybrick, whose parents have to pay for her college tuition along with the elevated gas prices.

Koski said, “Overall, yes, it’s tough to pay almost double the price for gas compared to a year ago. Thankfully I don’t drive much which has saved me money.” 

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