I hate money. I hate money. I hate money.
I hate how it separates people. I hate how it shapes people.
In college, there are three options for your relationship with money, and none of them are exactly your choice. 1) Your family provides your finances entirely, and your sole job is to be a student. 2) Your family wants you to figure it out on your own, but they help you out when needed, give you enough to get by, and there is a definite transition after college when you become financially autonomous. Or 3) You almost entirely financially provide for yourself.
I hate the relationships between these three categories.
The people with all the money argue that they are not spoiled; they know how to work hard; they are unfairly labeled by the other two groups. The people with some money argue that they have earned what they have; they are responsible and don’t receive handouts; they are wise with the help they receive. And the people with no money argue that the other two groups are ridiculous, oblivious and have little idea what privilege or hard work even are.
I hate it. I hate it because they’re all wrong. And I hate it because they’re all right.
And I don’t know what to do with it. People from privileged families shouldn’t be blamed for the money they have; they shouldn’t be handicapped for having a lack of need. But people from less privileged families are justified in their frustrations that working two or more jobs is not optional.
It’s hard to watch people working for the sake of filling up time or for the sake of experience when you know you won’t make your tuition bill next month. But it’s also hard to be called spoiled; for people to assume that you're ignorant of the meaning of responsibility or the value of hard work, that you don't still struggle.
It can easily turn into the stupidest and weirdest kind of competition, whether it’s spoken or unspoken. Who works the most hours per week? Who takes the most classes? Who gets the best internships? Who takes out the fewest loans? Who wins the most scholarships? Who flies home every other weekend? Who travels the world on family vacations? Who has four siblings in college? Who is a first-generation student?
Unavoidable indicators of this status-game pop up everywhere, and it's easy to feel weird about it. But paradoxically, it’s also easy for anyone from any of the three groups to say money doesn’t matter.
But it does matter. It affects all of your life; it shapes who you are. You can choose how it shapes you, but it shapes you nonetheless.
I just hate it. I don’t know how to handle it, and I don’t know what to do with it. I just know this: I don’t like money.