Hey everyone, happy Monday! Ahh, I can FEEL spring break kissing my toes, it’s only two more weeks till my university lets us out for ten days, and I honestly can’t wait. I love my life, but I’m so excited to have a break from school, work, volunteering, and all of my other daily activities. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder, you know?
Anyways, as I cement my plans for the upcoming holiday, this summer, and next year when I go off to grad school, the more I realize the limitations of my wallet.
It’s odd, but I never realized that I’m considered ‘poor’ until I entered university. Suddenly, I had my friends my age who literally own Gucci and Chanel, and who give $100 to the homeless like it’s nothing. One of my first roommates would regularly skip class to travel, spending her weekends in her family’s second home in Hawaii.
Me, on the other hand, I’ve struggled with money since I first received my acceptance letter. I’ve worked 1-3 jobs since the age of 17, I’ve had friendships deteriorate because I couldn’t afford to match their lifestyles (boba every day gets expensive quickly), and when the dining halls are closed, I regularly frequent the food pantry. I’m not poor enough to warrant living in a homeless shelter, and I’m lucky enough to occasionally afford luxuries like movie tickets and face masks, but my classmates and I lead very different lifestyles.
Still, I’m not unhappy. Yeah, I can’t satisfy every whim I dream up, but I’m supporting myself through college, without help from my parents, and I’m fortunate in that I’ll graduate with no debt. Because I’ve refrained from frivolous spending, I have enough money to fund the field school I’m attending this summer, and, fingers crossed, I’ll be able to start a 401k next year. My parents ensured that I learned about finances, and that education has helped me keep my head straight. Plus, as I continue on to my PhD, I’m going to be expanding my mind and learning new skills. As corny as it sounds, that intellectual depth is always going to be more important to me than buying new clothes.
This isn’t to say that I’m a saint – in fact, this post was brought on by my guilt of buying some new (second-hand) books today. Sometimes I do buy things I don’t need, just because they’re beautiful and make me happy. But, for the most part, I’m good with what I have, and my wallet, even if it’s small, is able to support me. I work hard every day, and I’m continuing my education, so that I can take care of my family, and so that my own children will never have to go through what I’m going through. Destiny has forced me to become self-reliant, patient, and creative, and these character traits can only help in life. I’m a broke college student, but I’m poor right now so that, later on, I’ll have the knowledge and resources to help others.
In the end, it’ll all be worth it, and we’ll celebrate our successes together 🙂