As college students, we are collectively enduring several years of learning about what life is going to throw at us once we enter the “real world.”
But we’re not by any means only learning about the fields we want to enter; we’re also learning things that classes couldn’t possibly teach us. Things like building friendships that are strong enough to handle living together, and dealing with the stresses that school presents.
More importantly, however, we are all becoming increasingly aware of just exactly how much life costs, and exactly how hard it is to sustain a steady source of income.
Unfortunately, I believe I’m not alone when I say that our perfect little town of Fort Collins hides an undeniable flaw: a shortage of jobs, and low pay for the few jobs that are available. Even though the minimum wage was recently raised to $6.85 an hour, the competition for jobs keeps wages low in those positions with good hours, and hours bad in those with good wages.
On top of that, many good jobs require experience, which may be impossible to obtain – something I’ve had plenty of experience with over the past two years. Restaurants don’t hire waitresses without experience and it’s impossible to get experience without being hired. Kind of a lose-lose situation, wouldn’t you say?
This sobering issue obviously presents many problems. Our expenses keep piling up as we make our way through an education that will end up costing as much as a house – in the case of out-of-state students, a really nice house. So what are we to do about our accumulating financial strains?
Sure, some people may be doing just fine right about now, but let’s not forget the spending spree that many of us happened to have just enjoyed. It recently came time to send in our tuition checks and hand the bookstore half of what we’ll ever earn in our lives and we did so with smiles on our faces, our bright eyes looking toward the future, and our stomachs churning in disgust.
But that’s just one of those things we all have to do, no matter how much it sucks. Unfortunately, this ferocious spending will always catch up to us, especially at this time of the year.
With the National Retail Federation showing holiday spending at an all-time high of over $400 billion this year, it’s little wonder the soon-to-be due payments of credit card bills are sending a chill up spines across campus. It’s obvious a job is quickly becoming a necessity in most students’ lives.
Unfortunately, I can’t offer you a cure for your financial issues. I can’t tell you how to get a good job with good hours that will pay for your rising expenses. I’m a junior and I just got my first real job in Fort Collins – one that happens to offer an outstanding 4 hours a week. Isn’t life great?
I see only one answer to our problems: Steal, and steal a lot. Well, OK. Maybe not. Let the job hunt continue.
Kaitlin Snook is a junior technical journalism major. Her column appears every Friday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to email@example.com.