By Mana Williams Eade 10 Minutes
Money is horrible to think about. It’s not designed to be saved. It’s never nice to run out of and is constantly used as a way of defining happiness. To cut to the chase, today’s chat looks at student debt, and how it’s not a sustainable option over short or even mid-term. To share my opinion of student debt and look at other students views on the elephant in the wallet.
There’s just so much clout surrounding the expenses that so many students are forced to take out. We all know how hard it is to save up to pay for University. It’s not even a reality for the majority of people out there. When labor work fails to pay upwards of $20 an hour, a barista, a trolley boy, a hotel valet, a petrol station assistant, a library worker, a carpenter, a painter.
At over $8,000 per year alone, a full-time year in an architecture degree at $20 an hour before taxes equates to 400 hours of work, minimum. Which at full-time rates, 40 hours per week, is a minimum of 10 weeks of work. Which doesn’t sound like much but that’s without being able to afford that coffee, those shoes, that car, and that life that you’ve always wanted to have.
A lot of people are under the impression that student debt is what causes students to be poor, and while that’s true, it’s something that is so often under looked or unseen. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers when I say that there must be a lot of people out there suffering from the idea that they have a debt the size of a down payment on a house, unimaginable.
It’s something that I don’t believe we talk about enough. There are so many people going through it with their eyes wide shut. It comes out through frivolous binges on alcohol, clothes, useless knick-knacks, and I’m a classic example of that. Going all out on a weekend “Bender.” The student world is full of spendthrifters who love to binge on things unneeded.
Can we please take a few minutes to elaborate on the pointlessness of student levy costs. Wellington University has four campuses which all operate in accordance to their different faculties, true. But their cleaners, real estate, operational costs, insurance costs are all paid for through our student levy bills, which for me this year was around $700.
But why do we need physical campuses still? With online communications technologies where we can live stream our entire course content in minutes, access an online library, order our books over the phone, live chatting with our tutors, what is the necessity for having physical campuses? With their large lecture theaters, Sushi Shops, Coffee Stores, and carparks.
University is a big business. Through marketed normativity, it is given the key to our cities, our educations, our social infrastructure. We are made to believe that University only cares about us and our wants for studying but it isn’t. It’s not there to make you rich, its there to make you work, and make a lot of money for the government. That’s why it’s subsidized by 70%.
My Financial Position.
Just kidding, that’s my business. But it’s really saddening that we have to compare and contrast each other’s financial statuses as a means of treating people less than or not equal to another. I don’t care about your financial position. I don’t mean that in a mean way either it’s this way because I understand that it must be really tough for some people and their families to cope.
That constant nagging and thinking if you could afford that coffee, those pants, this food, that Uber. It’s a stress and it seems to add to a building pressure around late assignments, missing family, social dramas, weather. All of this stuff adds to the growing binge trends and it looks like our leaders really aren’t doing shit about it. I’m not sure about you, but that sucks.
These bureaucratic establishments full to the brim with suits who were provided with fully subsidized University fees, who were given education free of charge. John Key is a classic example of a person who came from humble beginnings, was given the opportunity to study for free, and then later on in his career use his political power to change funding policies.
Although John would likely regard it as, “Just a bit of banter, no drama.” The reality is that over a hundred thousand kiwi kids are building debts bigger than a person with two cars, a boat and a kid on the way 25 years ago wouldn’t have had to juggle. The market inflation hasn’t increased relative to living costs, so we’re earning less and paying shit loads more.
What it all boils down to is the ignorance of a political leadership, the unwillingness to believe that student debt is debt regardless if interest-free or not, and a gigantic business scheme that hasn’t changed in the last hundred years. It’s honestly truly whole heartedly a big waste of time worrying about it all. So I instead encourage you to build relationships with people. Buy your friend something for no reason. Pull out that box of chocolates you’ve had lying around for a while and share the love. Do the dishes for somebody because you know they have something due. Put away your cellphone instead of haggling on about somebodies Instagram filter. Create more meaningful relationships with those around you so that you’re not taken away by the systemic problems everyone is told is “reality.” Realize you don’t need to “harden up.” Because at the end of the day what matters is that you are always loved and that a numerical value shouldn’t define the person you perceive to be you.
That’s another chat for you guys. Something that I feel plays on a lot of peoples minds. The urge not to want to speak openly about how they are feeling about the whole situation is really worrying and from what I saw last year with people dropping out, people not being able to afford many things it really hit me that its shit out there and I wanted to share some light on the matter. I just want to re-iterate that this is not to put anybody down about their current financial situation it’s just a friendly reminder that it’s not your fault and isn’t your fault for being there and that there are a lot more important things to put your time and energy into and I guess at the end of the day time and energy are their own currencies, something which students definitely don’t have debt owing on…. So cheers…
Thanks for checking in…