If you know me personally or just happen to follow me on twitter you will clearly notice my passion for collegiate sports. I’ll give a preemptive apology now if I publicly broadcast anything rude about your team i.e. Kansas or Nebraska. I am a proud graduate from The University of Missouri and over the past few years Mizzou has tasted quite a bit of success in all of their sports programs, which is good for me because I like showing off and picking on people who went to schools that we destroy in any sport. So you are probably starting to think to yourself, “Why is this dude who is a chef talking about sports?” First off RELAX, I can talk about whatever I want! You did log on to www.billyparisi.com right? That’s what I thought! Now sit back, relax and read about my take on the most important yet missed demographic in the United States.
It seems that college students are sometimes forgotten about, not because they aren’t missed, but because they haven’t really stepped foot in reality yet, haven’t paid their first mortgage, haven’t held their first baby, you get the point. Now, I am not here to diss on college students because let’s be clear, being young and in college is cool, sexy and for a lack of better words nostalgic, and I loved every minute of it. This also doesn’t mean that college kids are broke either, because according to ShoppingBlog.com college students spend $33.8 billion dollars a year on gearing up for their new semesters. I understand that a huge chunk of that figure is due to the students’ parents check book, but while in school the students have to eat, buy new togas, drink beer, etc.. Even on game days when I was in school I would be so amped for the game and would prematurely make plans to go buck wild that night, but sometimes it would come up short if my team lost because I would be too pissed to do anything. I know that’s weird for ladies out there who don’t like sports, but it’s a guy thing sorry. Think about that though, I would usually spend between $30 to $40 a night on food, cover charge and beverages, (you know what kind I’m talking about) and I know I was not the only one out there who would be too depressed to go out after a game because we underachieved and lost to a terrible team…. Say we lost 1/2 of our games in basketball and football for a year, the local economy would be missing out at roughly $735 a year. Then multiply that amount times 100 other ticked off fans… Columbia, Missouri would be missing out on $73,500! That’s some descent coin from some supposedly broke college students. For all those students out there don’t lie and act like you don’t have money, because if there is a big party or a huge event at a bar you will find money and make sure you are there on time.
So where am I going with all this?! I’ll tell you! I have decided to make a conscious effort to start catering to the college student through food, health, fashion tips, etc.. Let’s not forget that the people in college now are our tomorrow. We should be catering to them and shoving choices of brands and services down their throats. GLG News says that, “Happy and satisfied young people engaged with a loyalty marketing program are more than twice as likely to recommend a brand or service to their friends.” Suite101.com states, “Young people are such a valuable target market, for one thing, young people haven’t established much brand loyalty yet, so they’re ripe for the picking.” Cooking for instance should be taught to college students, not little kids who will depend on their parents to provide meals until, * hint THEY GO TO COLLEGE AND START COOKING FOR THEMSELVES!!! If we embed quality brands and lifestyles in their brains while in school they will be more likely to stay loyal and go back to that brand or lifestyle when they graduate to furnish their first home, buy their first set of pots and pans, or purchase their first washer or dryer. In other words they will have truck loads of more money after graduation to buy home/apartment/condo necessities. Another reason to show students how to cook properly is for health reasons. The average freshman gains 4.2 pounds in their first 12 weeks of school and we all know what hail damage looks like when it is on our stomach and booties after one semester of eating at McDonalds and Southside pizza… College kid’s brains are starving for knowledge and teaching them how to cook not only gives them the basic fundamentals to succeed in the kitchen, but it also creates independence from their parents and will also lead to what real family meals look like when they have one of their own. No more throwing money down the drain on food that is awful for you or creates a post college beer gut. It is time for someone to step up and show these kids a thing or two in the kitchen, and I guess that someone is ME!