Gas prices have risen back over $4/gallon: Students offer their 2 cents on the pain that is causing

By Paul Vigna

MOST consumers probably through that the price of gas, which in some places across the country exceeded $5/gallon this summer, would cost less after Labor Day.

The trend started out that way, moving below $4/gallon for a few weeks, and then reversed course and is stuck back up around $4.15/gallon in central Pennsylvania.

It’s not that way everywhere, with prices varying by state. A ride through Maryland yesterday included passing by fuel selling for $3.69/gallon. Still, even that price is high considering how much inflation has elevated the cost of so many products we use.

We decided to send The Spartan class members out to interview students on how the price of gas is affecting them.

Here are the responses we got:

Jon Lehr

Senior Jon Lehr commutes to campus every day where he spends much of his time in the lower level of the Humanities Center.  The Spartan caught up with Jon in between writing classes to talk with him about how rising gas prices are affecting him.

“They’ve affected me a little bit,” said Lehr, who also says small habit changes have helped. “If I need to go somewhere, Rutter’s for instance, I’ll walk rather than drive,” he said.

Madison Sweitzer

Senior Madison Sweitzer was also between classes in the Humanities Center. “I’m a DoorDash driver,” said Sweitzer, “and I’m currently not able to drive for them because of the price of gas. I can’t afford it.”  

Sweitzer is willing to go to some lengths in order to find the best deal on gas. “I’ll drive until I’ve got less than 10 miles left in the tank so I can get to a cheaper gas station,” she said.

Nathan Leakway

As college students we all have very busy schedules and we all have a lot on our plate. We have work to do, people to see, and things to get. The easiest way we do all these things is with a car. Driving is an important aspect of all of our lives but with gas prices so high it has become taxing to drive around as we don’t want to spend all our money. So I talked with two friends about whether it impacts them.

The first person I talked to was Matt Sabatini, my roommate. His major is Administration. “It doesn’t affect me that much because I do not drive that far out and the most I drive is to target to get food,” he said. “I don’t drive very far so I don’t worry about gas prices that much.” 

Jeremy Hadler is majoring in Sport Media. “Yes, it has changed. Gas has gone up 40 cents and inflation is a big reason for it. I don’t drive very far. The only place I drive is from my home to school.” 

Jack Fennell

Gas prices have been a hot topic for the past few years or so but due to the recent economic issues we have seen a drastic increase in gas prices. This has changed the way everyone thinks about how much they are driving, spending, and budgeting because you can no longer fill up a tank for less than $40 at gas stations.

For college students this is an even bigger problem because, as most people know, college students are not swimming in money and they have to try their best to budget for  resources, supplies, food etc. With the constant stress of having to fill up their gas tank this has caused issues in many college students all over the country.

Maddie Gleason

Maddie Gleason, a junior from the University of Pittsburgh, had this to say about the rise in gas prices: “The overall rise in gas prices has made me drive a lot less. I never really drive when I’m at school because the transportation is free here, but when I’m home I tend to carpool a lot more with my friends and try to only drive when it’s really necessary to. I try to fit more trips/errands into less trips so i don’t have to go out as often and use more gas.”

Ashley McCurdy

For other students such as Ashley McCurdy from Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania, using a car isn’t an option for her anymore. But it does impact how she views driving now. “I feel the gas prices did not necessarily affect my driving in the sense I would only drive to my jobs. However, I would notice how much I was talking about it and it was anger inducing. I would try to not eat out as much to save on money knowing how much I would be spending to fill up my tank.”

Julian Leon

Meagan Lalo

Meagan Lalo, a junior majoring in Music Composition, mentioned that while she’s at school she tries walking as many places as she can near campus. “If I really need to go somewhere off campus, of course I’ll drive but I try to walk as much as possible, the prices are getting really high and my car isn’t good on gas,” she said. For her, the budget has changed a bit. “While I’m in school, I don’t have as much time to work so I really need to watch what I do and make sure that I have the money for what I need.” She also expressed the fact that the rising prices are a struggle and really bother her.

Ashley Little

Ashley Little is a Senior majoring in Elementary Education. She said that she used to drive everyone everywhere and also pick them up. “Now I really don’t offer too much unless I’m asked.” Little mentioned that since the prices have been going up, she has had to change some things. Although her budget hasn’t really changed too much, “I usually use my credit card for gas so I haven’t had to change my budget, just how I do other things,” she said. Like everyone else, she hates how much prices went up. It’s just more money she has to spend on something else.

Lee Kling

Aaron Keifer

Aaron Keifer, Class of 2023, majors in Civil Engineering. “The price of gas has affected my life negatively, but nothing life-changing,” he said. “I am still able to spend money liberally, but I have made it an effort to work more to help with the difference in the rise of gas prices.”

Brian Mcglynn

Added Brian Mcglynn, Class of 2022, who is majoring in Biology, “The price of gas is something I have grown accustomed to, but it is still difficult on my bank account everyday. I am by no means struggling, but I now only really use my car if it’s an absolute necessity.”

Chris Hulsart

Emma Gladfelter

Emma Gladfelter is a sophomore majoring in Nursing: “The recent rise in gas prices has made me want to drive less because it is too expensive. I’ve tried to cut back on little expenses like eating out and buying clothes just to save up for gas.”

Aalexis Jamison

Aalexis Jamison is a sophomore majoring Entrepreneur and Innovation: “Since the rise of the price of gas, it has definitely affected how often I drive now. I only use my car to drive really to work and home, which is off-campus. Every time I go to the gas station, to be honest I never put a full tank just because the price is so high, on top of everything else being so high in price.”

Kai O’Brien

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