A Hardship

Elaine Miller

Growing up poor, I have seen my share of Christmas holidays where there were no provisions set in place to enjoy the holiday season.  That is why now as a student I struggle with the idea of Christmas down time or time between semesters.  There needs to be some type of system put into place so that students who do work study can provide for themselves or their families.  For me it is a matter of trying to find a second job but this too is hard our local economy and the fact that most places of employment do not want an employee who cannot work a flexible schedule.  In addition, many of us have car payments and car insurance on top of our monthly expenses.

Christmas is going to be slim pickings for my family already.  Now with the down time I can look forward to more hardship.  I am, a single mother and down time will afford time to spend with my family but at what cost?  There will not be enough gas to put in the car to go do anything and not enough money to take them even to a movie.  This dilemma is nothing new.  Around the time of my birthday, which is in June there is also financial hardship, as all the bills from the winter have to be paid down or paid off.  Then of course, the license plates for the car.  Heaven forbid one of the pets should become ill goodness me.  I just had to experience this with my German shorthair pointer.  He needs a spot removed from his chest and has bronchitis.  While I was able to do a payday loan to pay for his bronchitis care I am uncertain where the money for his surgery will come from.

When I took Human Services System, a class in Grant reading and proposals, there was an endowment program set aside for a non-profit grant that can get distributed to local charities.  A similar system could be located to help students who need to depend on their wages to get through a holiday season.

My point in all of this is that we as students cannot afford the luxury of a few days off.  We need a separate endowment fund or the equivalent set aside just to help students make it through the holiday down times. We need to do what ever it takes to help us achieve this goal.  Students deserve to have at the very least enough money to pay their household bills.  An endowment or another such program could help put in place a better standard of living and provide a lot less stress on the students at a time when stressors are usually high anyhow.

The past week has only escalated my financial worries.  The Thanksgiving Holiday was nice but at a cost.  Now I am even further in the hole than I was before.

In just about a week or two, my financial worries will escalate even higher.  The hardship of down time will once again rear its ugly head and my children and I can look forward to life with out any money for the Holidays.

Can anyone think of a way to change this economic trend for students?   There surely has to be a better way than total economic poverty for people who are trying so desperately to climb an economic ladder. Make students a priority; help develop a program that will keep them afloat even during a down time.

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