This has been something that has gotten under my skin for a while now, and I know there are others out there who are in the same position as me.
I am sick and tired of people harassing me to do things when they know I can't afford it. Something that may seem like a minor cost to you is something that could dictate whether or not I can pay my credit card bill, buy groceries, or even pay my rent.
I'm not one of those college kids who have my parents pay for everything for me. Before I continue I'm in no way bashing on the kids who have their parents help them financially during college. If your parents are able to help you pay for college or rent or groceries or whatever other expenses you have, you shouldn't be bashed for receiving support.
What I do have a problem with is people not understanding why sometimes I just can't do something. Sure, spending $10 at Chipotle may not seem like a big deal to you. But one day it's Chipotle, the next day it's going to see a movie, the day after that it's getting coffee. Every single one of these expenses adds up in a pretty major way. I can't afford to do everything other college kids can. I support myself, and I have to be careful about where I choose to spend my money.
I pay my own tuition, my own rent, I buy my own cars. If my phone or laptop breaks? That's on me. Gas, clothes, groceries? I pay for all of it. People don't seem to realize how hard it is to try to manage school full time, along with working a shitty job just to scrape by and survive on your own. I somehow make it work, but it's so damn hard. I hate having to say no to doing things with my friends or coworkers because I just can't afford it. I hate turning down fun nights because I just don't have enough money, but that's just part of life.
If I have to choose between going out to the bars with friends or making sure I pay rent so I don't get evicted, the choice is obvious.
I'm not writing this to throw a pity party for myself. The situation sucks, but for three years now I've managed to support myself. I've learned how to budget, I've learned how to say no when I can't afford something, I've learned how to prioritize my finances. But nothing stings more than someone harassing you and not understanding why sometimes you just have to say no. I wish I could do everything I was invited to, but it just isn't possible for me.
I'm writing this to ask those of you who have support from your parents to please be more understanding of your friends who don't have that constant support. Worrying about money every single day is hard enough, but constantly being told "it's just a $10, what's the big deal?" gets really old, really fast.
Please, try to be more understanding of your friends who pay for everything on their own. It's hard enough as it is, and being constantly harassed for our finances does nothing but add more stress.