I go to a big university, and tuition here is not cheap, especially for out of state students like myself. I come from a pretty well off family, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here. After my high school graduation, I had a nice cushion of money that I received from relatives to hold me over into my first year of school.
Like any college freshman without an inkling of responsibility, I blew a good chunk of that money on stupid stuff within my first month or so of being at school.
And what else happened?
My mom didn’t come to my rescue. She wasn’t sympathetic; I was in college now. I had responsibility. Kind of. So after I realized that I wasn’t going to be showered in monthly allowances for the rest of my life, I decided it was time for me to become financially responsible and independent.
I got a job in February and have since been “promoted” to supervisor. I’m nowhere near being financially independent, but I take pride (and gratitude) in the sense that I at least have a paycheck.
What am I getting at here?
Well, I thought that my experience would be similar to most of the people at my school. I figured everyone went through a phase of their parents choking off their money (not entirely cutting them off, but holding them accountable) and a yearning to get a job.
There are so many students at this school that take what they have for granted. I simply cannot wrap my brain around the fact that there are some students who don’t have part time jobs or anything at all. If I didn’t have any source of income beside my mom, I would be SOL. Seriously. And the thing is, I really don’t want to depend on my mom anymore.
My mom has done so much for me and my sister and I don’t think I can ever thank her enough. My way of giving back to her is by trying to become financially independent. I don’t want to be 25 years old and still asking her to pay for this thing or that. I honestly cannot understand how there are some students here that can just ask their parents for money or clothes or whatever and expect it at the drop of a hat. I mean, sure, I like going shopping with my mom, but I also pay for my own groceries.
This is where we have some issues. These students, trust fund babies or otherwise, will develop a sense of entitlement if they haven’t already. They will believe that everything will come to them if they throw a big enough tantrum. And they will not know how to work for their money.
Sadly, these are also the students that will probably never need to know how to work for their money because their parents are well off and well connected. In this day and age, your college degree doesn’t matter as much as who you or your parents know. It’s slimy, and it’s business.
My point is that yes, I come from a well-off family and yes, I still ask my mom for money sometimes. I’m not denying this fact. But I also do not want to become someone who thinks they’re entitled to anything and everything. I want a sense of achievement every time I get a paycheck because I know I’ve worked hard to earn it.
And of course, I want to remind myself that I am often in positions that many others of my age will never be. I want to remind myself to stay grounded and understand that I am lucky to go to a big school and to have a job. I want to remind myself that my mentality of working hard for my money will help me understand those who don’t have money at all.