When I was 15, my parents decided that was the year I was going to get a job. Well, being the 15-year old I was, I had very limited skills that would make me a good hire. However, the one thing I had going for me was the fact that I was lifeguard certified. That being said, I found myself a job down at the park district to be a lifeguard at the local pool. While I'm embarrassed to admit this, I never really viewed my job as a job because it seemed more like an activity for my parents to get me out of bed and to be productive during my summer break. I think this is where I began my downward spiral.
I have noticed over my first few months of being a college, I had a sort of disregard for money. My deal with my parents was that all the money I made as a lifeguard would then be my spending money for things that I wanted to buy while at school.
Four months later, that income from the past three summers was gone. I am very fortunate to say that I go to a school where my problem is that there is too much to do. Living in Charleston, you can always find a way to spend money whether it's on food, clothes or the sudden urge to go to the aquarium, it all adds up.
I found myself spending money on dumb stuff that really wasn't necessary, which is something I think we are all guilty of doing. This is what I want to talk about. I have been fortunate enough like many of my friends to be given the opportunities to be where I am today. My lack of responsibility with money is because I've never had to deal with the hardship of trying to make ends meet and that is something I need to work on. I have noticed that many of my friend's perception of the average income is false. My friend identified someone the other day as being "comfortable" because he had a vacation home. I was able to acknowledge the humor of this even though it went right over his head. I then had to explain to him that most people don't have a vacation home or get to spend the summer "up at the lake house".
I think people need to stop taking money for granted just because they have it. Charleston is a beautiful place but at the end of the day, I know I am here to get an education. I have realized my recent personality change and how I have become a lot more driven because I realize how expensive college really is.
If you're taking a college as a joke and would rather go to the pool than class, I hope you realize how much money you or your parents are paying for you to be in those classes. I know this is something I've had to work on and this semester has really changed my perspective on money. College is more than fun and games. Spend your money wisely and don't take it for granted.