Where I am from, working while going to college is something completely out of the norm even for low income families. When I moved to America and began university I decided that I want to work so I could be able to purchase necessities for myself so I would not have to ask my mother for money as she is already paying for tuition. My mother was actually offended by the decision to go a job but I did anyway. Working while attending college is very hard, my days are so busy now. I recently had to get another job to help my mother with my tuition as her businesses in Jamaica have been heavily affected by COVID as they rely on tourists coming to island especially during the months of August- January so due to the pandemic things have been very slow there. I also do not live on campus because of work and it simply makes more sense to stay home like many other students. “Ian sometimes described wanting to move away to attend a school in Atlanta, and occasionally spoke of how much easier life would be if he lived on campus , but ultimately felt that it was essential that he live at home” (pg. 182) I also share this similar experience with wanting to live on campus as I believe you get a better college experience when living on campus. Working has also affected my college experience in terms of not being able to partake in any extracurricular activities at the university. It also affected my ability to see a professor during his or her office hours because after my classes are over I have to rush to work.
The assumption that parents support their children during college and one that should not be done especially through the financial aid system. Not every student attending college is still under their parents wing. Many students have families of their own and other responsibilities besides college expenses. According to the reading colleges and universities often budget very little for living expenses because the assumption that living with parents is less expensive is so ingrained in our thoughts, when this might not be the case for every student. Some students who are young adults are the primary source of income in some families especially low income families. “With less money from their parents coming in, it is no surprise that low-income college students take on far more debt than their more affluent peers” (pg. 185) These and many other factors proves that the assumption made through the financial aid system that parents support their children during college is very unrealistic and unfair. It is one that should be taken into consideration as most students use university as a way to obtain better jobs so they can provide for their parents and other family members especially those students from low income families.