"It's brick out here, yo!"
"It's good to be home for the summer cause this here, this is my hood."
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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.
I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.
Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.
I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.
During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.
Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.
Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.
Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.
Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.
I think education is extremely important and useful.
However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.
I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.
My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.
I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.
We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.
The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?
Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.
There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.
Recently, news outlets have been reporting on how the people of Sommarøy, a Norwegian island located north of the arctic circle, would like to remove the concept of time. This is largely in part due to the fact that the sun does not set during much of the summer nor does it rise during the winter. The inhabitants of Sommarøy do not have rigidly separated days and nights like the rest of the world and can be found doing normal daytime activities at 2 am in the summers.
They also would like to take clocks out of their society. Although this lifestyle might seem impractical to the rest of us, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a world where time is irrelevant, in regards to the concept AND the physical effects of its passing. This newfound information gave rise to ideas of things (some simple, some whimsical) I'd do if the concept of time did not exist and we had as much time to do the things we wanted.
1. Live on a ship at sea.
2. Watch a flower grow from a seed to its death.
3. Apply as much makeup as desired without being late.
4. Retake my favorite college courses and participate as fully as I possibly can, including the completion of every single reading and film.
5. Take a non-stop trip through every country in the world.
6. Learn to play and fully master every single musical instrument in existence.
7. Watch a full rotation of Earth around the sun from space.
8. Live by myself in a cabin at the edge of the woods a la Thoreau.
9. Reread every single book that shaped my childhood.
10. Have a brief conversation with every old friend.
11. Re-drink that first sip of the perfect cup of coffee.
12. Observe how the tides change with the lunar cycle.
13. Learn as many languages as possible.
14. Sit at the beach and listen to music for days.
15. Train for an Olympic event.
16. Write a detailed, thorough analysis of every track in my favorite movie soundtracks.
17. Take a photo of every interesting place I visit and every little nook I find peace in and make a physical photo album.
18. Cook food without burning it.
19. Watch a star's life cycle from birth to death.
20. Replay the feeling of coming home.