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Gas is Burning Up Students’ Wallets

SAN MARCOS — Gas prices can be causing students to stress over how much they have to drive and if they can even make it to school.

With the sudden surge in gas prices that San Diego county has seen in the past year, some students at Palomar College have debated if in-person classes are worth it. Many students already have to balance work, school, and social life, but now they have to learn how to balance their gas usage as well. With the average price of a gallon of gas being between $5 and $6 depending on the day and county, it can be difficult to manage gas expenses.

The Telescope asked multiple students from different schools in San Marcos how much they’ve had to worry about gas. “I drive about 250-300 miles a week,” said Palomar College student Kimberly Starnes, “I live in Vista and have to drive from Vista to Carlsbad for work, and then to San Marcos for school.” Starnes takes all of her classes in person at the San Marcos campus and has had to stress about paying for all the gas she uses on her commutes. “I definitely have my moments of stress about not being able to pay for my gas,” added Starnes.

One of the reasons for the high gas prices in California is the fact that oil manufacturers have had to begin maintenance on their facilities. According to a report from NBC 7 San Diego, this maintenance had been put off for over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Another reason for rising gas prices is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has disrupted to the trade of oil throughout the globe.

Gas prices
A sign outside of a gas station displays the prices for the day.

CSUSM student Sofia Marcone said, “I’ve had to get my job closer to campus in order to be closer to both work and class because of how much gas costs,” after being asked how gas prices affect her work and school life. “I probably have to spend around $135 every month if not more,” said Marcone.

“I have to spend around $250 on gas a month depending on how busy my schedule is,” said Palomar student April Vasquez. When asked if she ever worries about making it to work or to class Vasquez said, “I try my best to work around both my schedules but sometimes I end up running late for either one.”

Gas pump screen
The price for a full 17 gallon tank of unleaded premium costs $90.

Luckily for students that have to commute to both work and school, trends in San Diego have seen gas prices lowering since hitting an all-time high earlier this year. According to NBC San Diego, energy experts expect to see prices continue to drop going into the new year.

Image Sources

  • Gas Story 3: Alex Ortega/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
  • Gas Story 2: Alex Ortega/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
  • Gas Story 1: Alex Ortega/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved

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