You’re broke. You’re struggling to eat. You’re scrambling for change inside your dorm room couch to buy Ramen noodles. You’re … a USC college student.

Being careful with your money is always smart. Milking any free resources to the very last drop is even smarter.

Here’s your guide to the top ways of scoring free music and concerts, munching on free food and landing free parking at USC.

You’re welcome.

Top 5 Ways of Scoring Free Music and Concerts Legally

5. Set up music trading groups with friends and classmates.

Trading CDs with classmates is an easy way to get new tunes at no cost, and you can make new friends and bask in each other’s music snobbery.

4. Intern at music-friendly places.

If you’re lucky enough to intern at the right place, it may be a goldmine for any music fan. Best internships to score free tunes: record labels, music PR firms, magazines, music Web sites and blogs and TV stations.

3. Write for a local newspaper/magazine.

You’d be surprised at the amount of quality CDs sent to the Daily Trojan offices. Freelancing for some local media outlets will definitely beef up your iTunes library and you might be lucky enough to get access to killer concerts and interview your favorite artists.

2. Check out venues within your school.

Ground Zero and Bovard Auditorium are mere steps away and offer free admission to many concerts and events and host a number of sweet artists including My Chemical Romance and M83.

1. Attend school-sponsored concerts.

USC’s Concert Committee prides itself on hosting some awesome events to the student population at the price of $0. This year’s Springfest brought Brand New and the Submarines to McCarthy Quad, while Conquest has brought huge talent like the Fray and the Bravery in past years.



Top 5 Ways of Munching on Free Food

5. Go to hosted study sessions.

USC does its best to alleviate your rumbling stomach during midterms and finals by hosting events with free food, including visits from the In-N-Out truck. Leavey is the best place for free goods, but El Centro Chicano hosts the best shindig with free Thai food and back massages.

4. Attend event/exhibit openings and lectures.

You may not be interested in Gothic architectural revivalism, but sticking around for a one-hour lecture about Eugène Viollet-le-Duc may be worth it for a free slice of pizza. Event organizers often know that food draws attendees, so keep an eye out for event flyers offering free food.

3. Do some volunteer work.

French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “When you give yourself, you receive more than you give.” True, but there’s nothing wrong about giving a few hours of volunteer time in exchange for a turkey burger, is there?

2. Attend student organization events.

Pretend like you’re interested in joining the Entrepreneur Club, the marching band, the Latino Business Student Organization and the Annenberg Student Communication Association and you’ll have free grub all week. Best thing is these organizations host events all year, so your tummy is bound to stay full.

1. Befriend the freshmen.

Freshmen don’t know any better, and their parents know even less. So caring parents tend to buy their kids the freeloader’s dream: the Trojan meal plan. Little do they know, kids are getting stuffed at nearby Chano’s and spending those dining dollars on their friends. Become one of those friends.



Top 5 Ways of Landing Free Parking

5. Frat Row

Many people don’t know 28th St. is a prime parking location. Get there early enough and you’ll find some free parking spots at walking distance from campus.

4. Adams and Hoover

Both Adams and Hoover are open public streets with tons of parking. Only problem is that neighborhood people and students tend to fill the streets fast. And it’s a bit of a walk.

3. Century Apartments

To the naked eye, one will assume the parking cul-de-sac lot in front of Century is for residents only, but a closer look will reveal that it’s an open lot and no permit is necessary. Spots are harder to find, but once you’re in you’re good for the entire day. No meters to feed and no need to worry about parking tickets.

2. University Village

Signs all around University Village warn against USC students parking for extended periods of time. But can they really monitor the hundreds of cars they get every day? Park there, stop by Baskin Robbins on your way to class and then move your car to a different location in the lot. Rinse. Repeat after class.

1. Use last year’s parking permit.

So you spend hundreds of dollars on a parking permit per semester only to throw it away at the end of the year. What a waste. Try using that same permit next year. They look virtually the same as the previous year’s, so why purchase a shiny, new permit? Surely, the parking officials won’t check every permit car by car.