The fact that our country is facing an economic crisis is indisputable. Everywhere we turn, there are signs of recession. The job market is dwindling; even those in tenured positions are being laid off. Gas is going up too – it’s ironic how that always happens right after the new president takes office. I worry about the college students who are graduating this May. The prospect of entering the workforce at a time like this must seem daunting. 2009 has brought quite a few challenges for the general population, but I’d like to focus on the effect it has had on college students.
I’m a second-semester sophomore, and surprisingly more financially bogged down that I thought I’d allow myself to be. Being a full-time student and working 14 hours a week amidst extracurricular activities, doesn’t leave much free time – even for another job. I truly enjoy keeping busy, doing positive things for both myself and others, and it bothers me that I am forced to choose – time or money.
I am at a crossroads. Academically, can I afford another part-time job? Financially, can I afford to live without another part-time job? Time really is money, but time doesn’t pay the bills.
Where is the financial bail-out for college students? Where are our stimulus packages?
It seems like the economy has forgotten about the lowly college students who have to pay their own way through school. There are students who pay their own rent, buy their own groceries, and put gas in their own cars – despite the faltering economy.
These students still manage to go to school full-time with no compensation. Many of these students work part-time on top of a full course load. What happens to a student like this, when he or she just can’t make rent, and paycheck to paycheck isn’t enough to get by?
It seems like the solution to this problem is easy – for everyone else; “Just ask your parents for some money, ask your parents to take out more loans under their name!” What happens when the student can’t rely on his or her parents financially?
It adds insult to injury when the response to a person’s wholehearted job search is laughter. I walk into the corner store already feeling like I’m about to settle for less than I’m worth, but I suck it up and ask for a job. The manager laughs and retorts, “You’re looking for a JOB?” She stares at me like a second head has just sprouted from my neck. Is looking for a job really that taboo these days?
This is what our economy is saying – at one point, we might have been worth $10 an hour; now we’re unemployable by no fault of our own.
Where are the for hire signs? What is going to happen to the students who can’t make ends meet each month? Will we be forced to fall into the pit of credit card revolvers, and become yet another indebted statistic?
What will happen when an education becomes too expensive?