Gas Prices Affect Mats

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Bailey Smith and Elena Wasserman, Staff Writers

It’s no secret that gas is not cheap. With prices hovering around $4 a gallon, students who pay for their own gas are constantly finding themselves without extra money. During the winter, gas prices temporarily decrease to promote holiday shopping.

Despite those few short weeks when students pay a reasonable amount for gas, gas prices affect students tremendously. For those lucky kids whose parents pay for their gas, their families still bear the high cost of fueling another car.

The amount of money spent on gas depends on how large one’s vehicle is. For a student driving a Volkswagen, a full tank of gas costs $40 – $50. For a student driving a Suburban, a full tank of gas could cost as much as $90, the price of an iPod Shuffle.

High gas prices limit students from certain activities based on how much it will cost to get there. Students will choose a restaurant based on its vicinity rather than its quality. Also, the amount of money spent on gas discourages students from driving. From an environmental, this can be a positive effect.

“Having to pay for my own gas makes me more frugal. I don’t want to drive because then I have to spend that much more money,” senior Brian De Luna said. “If I want to chill with my bros, I either have to mooch off of someone for a ride or make compromises like going to Maya Mexican Grill in Orinda instead of Gordo’s in Berkeley because it’s closer.”

Some students have extra curricular activities and must drive wherever their practice or class may be.

“I take classes at DVC, play softball and carpool, so I have to fill up my tank about once a week,” senior Breanna Correll said. “Every extra mile I spend driving stings a little because I know that soon I will lose even more money just going out to get ice cream with my friends.”

Working junior Susie Michaels is in the same boat.

“Even though I have a job it’d be nice to use my work money on things other than just my gas.” Equipped with a 2002 Audi A6 V8 4.2, Michaels has a very stylish ride with nowhere to go. “I love hanging out with friends, but knowing in the back of my head that filling up my tank costs $80, I’m a little less eager to go driving to my friends’ houses across town.” It’s unfortunate how much gas prices influence students’ lives.