U students hit the books for finals, not malls during holidays

U students hit the books for finals, not malls during holidays

Brady Averill

University students always seem to be pressed for time – especially as finals week approaches. That means shopping for the holidays is usually the last item on their “to-do” lists.

Results from a recent survey conducted by The Minnesota Daily show students seldom go shopping more than once a month. And when they’re going to spend, they pull out their credit cards and big bills at area malls instead of at smaller businesses, such as record stores or bookstores.

According to the survey, completed in November and before the holiday shopping season, 37 percent of respondents hadn’t shopped at a mall in the last month. Twenty-one percent reported shopping at a mall once in the last month. Fewer students testified to shopping more than once a month.

A majority of respondents said they had not shopped at a record store or bookstore in the last month.

Because the holiday season is here, students are putting aside their books and joining the shopping frenzy to buy gifts for friends and family. However, many interviewees said their buying won’t happen until after finals.

Senior Joe Nicoud is one such student.

“I usually wait until the last minute,” he said.

He said it’s a bad habit, but he’s busy. Come Dec. 23, the day after the last day of finals week, he’ll hit the mall, he said.

He said he might also hit the Internet. The Internet has the convenience of not needing to leave home but still allows him to shop at his favorite stores, he said.

Nicoud said he loves to shop, but this is the busiest time of the semester, and shopping is not a priority.

“I enjoy shopping,” he said. “I just like buying stuff, wasting money, I guess.”

Junior Zoe Grob said the survey results didn’t surprise her.  She said a lack of money is probably the top reason why students do not shop more often.

“For one, I never go shopping. Neither do any of my roommates,” she said.  “If they do, it’s weird.”

With no time to spare, first-year student Laura McCarville said she’ll put off shopping too.

She said she dislikes big malls and having to push through long lines.

Getting into the holiday spirit isn’t about buying gifts, she said. Instead, she said, it’s about spending time with family and friends.

“Shopping and buying gifts are not the real reason for Christmas,” she said.

It’s become a “Hallmark holiday,” she said.

McCarville said that when she goes home for winter break she’ll shop.

“I like shopping at home better, because I know where everything is,” she said.

First-year student Andrea Thorson is an exception. On Saturday, she spent four hours walking through shops at the Mall of America.

“I like shopping at the malls during the holidays,” she said.

Carolers and decorations made for a good atmosphere at the mall, she said.

“It was so cool,” she said.

Thorson said she loves to shop, because it gives her something to do. Even though the University is large and has many activities, she said, it is nice to get off campus.