An Account Of The Real Cost Of Secondary Education

An Account Of The Real Cost Of Secondary Education

That’ll be 3,865 hours, please.

With the recent outbreak of frivolous talk concerning free tuition and minimum wage increases, I want to talk about the other options from the viewpoint of someone smack dab in the middle of the madness.

Based off of my own university’s average tuition, room and board and total cost of activity fees, as well as the minimum wage of my home state, 3,865 is the number of hours one would have to work, while earning minimum wage, in order to cover the cost of one year of attendance at my university.

Of course, this neglects to take into account the fact that few, if any, students, traditional and nontraditional alike, pass through the admissions office doors without receiving some form of grant or scholarship. This number also represents pre-tax figures, but, for the sake of simplicity, we’ll pretend that is not a problem that needs to be addressed at this moment.

If your mind works at all like mine, you’re probably already trying to do the math paired with the implications of a number like that. Well, you can put down your calculator, because I have already taken the liberty of factoring the figures. In order to reach that number of hours in one year, an individual would be looking at working 322 12-hour days per year. That is six days a week, all year long (with the exception of 10 weeks), when the individual would be working all seven days.

As I mentioned before, this is all assuming that a student would be paying the full tuition price, which is a rarity for a private university such as the one these figures are based on. However, it's not uncommon for financial assistance to be limited when it comes to students pursuing degrees at public universities. The total cost of education for state-funded schools can be expected to be roughly half that of a private university. Returning to my figures, then, in order to work enough hours to cover the cost of education, one would be facing six-hour days again, six days a weeks, with the exception of those 10 full weeks. That is the equivalent of 36 42-hour work weeks, with the entire gross pay every week going to the student’s education.

At this point, to expect for any student to follow this kind of work schedule in order to cover only their schooling expense is unheard of.

However, I don’t want any person misinterpreting the message of my argument. The fact of the matter is, minimum wage is merely a government-regulated number set to protect the menial labor workforce. When did the American Dream become "do the least we can in order to receive the minimum wages that Uncle Sam says we are entitled to?" Any student, such as myself, working through school for the purpose of graduating debt-free, should strive to be employable at rates higher than the set minimum wage. One aspect of fiscal responsibility is the ability to showcase one’s own skills in order to stand out above the menial labor force.

The idea of 3,865 hours does not stand in the way of my goals. For all those who have ever said that it is “impossible” to graduate without student loans, I am here to prove you wrong.

Cover Image Credit: Amanda Halsey

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?


Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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