A day in the life: The freshman

Find out what’s Possible with Pay as Matt, a fictional first-year college student takes us through his day.

Instead of heading to the dorms for his first year of college, our fictional freshman Matt, has opted for virtual learning. That means less privacy from his parents and less opportunity to connect with fellow students as he learns from home for the semester. It also allows for a full fridge, his own room and more money to spend on the things he loves including new apparel, electronics and giving back.

We’ll find out more about how Amazon Pay – a speedy payment method that requires no sign-up and no new passwords – can make it easier for Matt to navigate his want it all lifestyle, from deal hunting to streaming entertainment.

About Matt the college freshman

Age: 18
Device of choice: Mobile phone
Priorities: Lifestyle, personal & others satisfaction
Influences: Trends, reviews, targeted emails and other promotions
Drivers: Good deals and discounts
Barriers: Cost of items, shipping options, and no brand loyalty

9:30am – Try to wake up

I typically start the day by checking what my friends are up to -- scrolling through Instagram for a few minutes to wake up. Then I switch over to see if any new bargains have popped up on my wish list. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been searching for new shoes, a watch, and an iPad. I pride myself on always finding the best deals, not just for me, but also my friends and family. I’ve got a few go-to sites that I check on for daily deals including Sneakerhead, Dave’s electronic deals, Today, Woot, Jomashop and Bonanza.

As I’m browsing Jomashop on my phone I notice they just put a Mathey-Tissot on sale for more 60% off. Not sure I can pass that up. I put it in my cart. I’ll have to check back later once I get through classes. I also FINALLY found a 70” widescreen 4K LCD TV monitor that my dad has been wanting to get for ages. He told me if I could find it for under $3.000 he’d drop the hammer. There’s only one left at Dave’s Deals! Thankfully I have my dad’s credit card saved in my Amazon account, so I text him for the green light, then quickly check out with Amazon Pay. It automatically pulls up my payment details and I’m able to grab the last one in stock before getting ready for class.

10 a.m. – Prep for school

Speaking of classes, college is pretty interesting right now. Because of the pandemic, my parents and I decided it was better that I learn from a distance this year. So much for the “freshman experience.” The perks of home-cooked meals and my own room aren’t lost on me. I jump in the shower as the smell of eggs wafts into my room. Then I head downstairs for a leisurely breakfast as I continue to catch up on what’s been happening in the world online.

Around 11:15 a.m., I jump onto Zoom for the first of my two classes today. This morning’s Anthropology 101 lecture is about how practices of communication (using particular mediums or particular languages) can reflect and affect broader cultural transformations.

The good news is, some of our freshman classes are being condensed to 30 minutes – to test learning and retention. So I only need to attend this class for 30 minutes three time a week, and I still get all five credits.

11:45 a.m. – Take a Twitch break

I have a just over an hour break before my next class, and I get an alert that one of the top Fortnite players, Scoped, is set to kick off his daily cash cup run. I pull up Twitch and watch his stream for 30 minutes, then gift him a tier 1 sub (subscription) to show my support, using my Amazon account. I still have 30 minutes left before class, so I scan through a few music artists and other influencers streaming on Twitch before prepping for my next class.

12:55 p.m. – Get ready for my political science class

We’re required to come to class every day with an article from yesterday’s paper that we submit in the chat, sharing “why we picked it and why it’s important.” As part of the class, we’re also required to have a news subscription. Balancing cost and reputation, I ended up subscribing to the Washington Post with Amazon Pay; I got 50% off the subscription with my student rate.

I rifle through today’s headlines and share it out to the class just as the professor begins the lecture. About 20 minutes into class, it’s clear we’re just going through last night’s reading. Instead reviewing the same information all over again, I jump back into Twitch and catch the final round of the FIFA tournament. During a streaming commercial break, I notice Aloha bars are 25% off with a gamer code. I’m looking for a new protein bar, so I click through the ad but save the gamer code for later, as there are a few things on my shopping list that I have to get first.

2:30 p.m. - Mid-day run

Since I’ve been cooped up at home, I’ve started running in the afternoon to stay in shape and clear my mind. Frankly, I thought I would be back in school by now, but since I’m still stuck at home, my mom also gave me clearance to get some fitness equipment for weight training.

I’ve been comparing various home equipment setups over the past few weeks, and TRX Training’s Home2 System has great reviews. They’ve just marked down the list price and it ships for free, so I head over to my cart, select Amazon Pay, and checkout in a few clicks – and then text my mom to transfer money into my account (I am a college student after all…).

3:30 p.m. – Getting paid and giving back

After getting back from my run, I switch tracks to check my daily sales for my side hustle. Because when I’m not thinking about class or hanging out online with my friends, I’m looking for opportunities to raise the profile of my online T-shirt company. I started selling quippy, clever, often ironic T-shirts to my friends in high school. It started as a joke, but it really caught on. I made a killing in the city where I grew up. This spring, I used the time off from school during COVID-19 to create a website so I could start selling to people everywhere. My friend’s older brother has a print shop, and I’ve started outsourcing the shipping to fulfillment by Amazon so that I can focus on printing money instead of printing T-shirt shipping labels. I’m also expanding beyond shirts to try out other apparel. I just put in an order with Wholesale for Everyone for about 200 bandanas that can double as face masks.

Honestly though, this business isn’t just about money. Every time someone buys a T-shirt, I give 10% of the proceeds to Black Lives Matter, because it’s a movement that matters to me. I just got paid yesterday for last month’s orders, so I get to donate: “Alexa, make a donation to Black Lives Matter.” Since it’s connected to my Amazon account, it’s pretty quick – confirming my existing payment information then confirming the donation went through.

I send a few emails, post a new T-shirt design on social, put together a TikTok video wearing one of my recent print releases, then scan my inbox for any new product drops or offers coming through from a collection of sites I follow.

5:00 p.m. – Homework & Dinner

It’s time to jump back into school – the assignments were really piling up today. I turn on some tunes and work my way through the day’s homework.

I love my parents, but in order to truly simulate my freshman year experience – where I would be grabbing dinner with friends – I tell my parents I need to ditch them, and I jump online to catch up with a few school friends.

While I’m on the Zoom call with my high school buddies at other colleges, I get a notification from Alexa that an adapter I ordered earlier in the week just arrived. I text my dad to grab it from the porch, and continue chatting with friends about the latest.

9:00 p.m. – Relax

I sit down and ask, “Alexa, turn on Fire TV.”. Because I thought I was going away to school, I recently upgraded Hulu to the student subscription with Amazon Pay, so I toggle over to the Hulu app, then put on The Peanut Butter Falcon, which I watch while I hit up on my phone to check out concert tickets. My best friend is coming into town in November, and I’m hoping small venues will be open by then. Harry Styles and Jenny Lewis are going to be in town, and the ticket price keeps dropping. I look through a few other sites to see how ticket prices compare, but Barry’s Tickets is my preference because they offer Amazon Pay, so my tickets are covered by the Amazon Pay A-to-z guarantee.

11:00 p.m. – Winding down

I switch over to Hulu on my computer while I lie in bed texting my friends, and revisit a few more deal sites online to see if there any new price drops. To keep my mind off being stuck at home instead of being in a college dorm with tons of people my age, I switch to TikTok to distract myself.

[1] Amazon Pay internal persona research.