Opinion: 70/30, Not 80/20

Brianna LeBlanc

Edited by Jalen Wells

Let me start by saying that I’m older than most students here, so I know all about having to hand over your hard-earned dollars for something you really don’t want to. Having to budget for pizza, shampoo and midnight study snack food can be super tricky especially if you’re only receiving 20% of your paycheck.

This was a hard lesson I had to learn when I transferred here and went from a bi-weekly paycheck of $600 from the hospital I worked at to $45 for 25-hour work weeks. It was a huge shock to go from now worrying about your bank account to now having to constantly check to make sure your bills got paid.

I eat a ton of snack food because I’m always hungry and I rarely fill up at meals. I work a job that keeps me super active as well, so I constantly need fuel. Having to count every penny and see if I can buy food and still have laundry money is a concern I didn’t know I would have in my late twenties, but here I am. In addition to food, I have to buy toiletries and other miscellaneous items that keep me functioning and more often than not, I’m having to make a sacrifice.

Now, I am very well aware that this sounds like #firstworldproblems and trust me, I can’t believe I’m complaining about this either, but it’s true. Having to survive two weeks on $45 is ridiculous. I don’t have an emergency fund sitting around in case something bad happens. I don’t even have co-pay money if I need to go see a doctor. The mentality seems to be that we shouldn’t need a lot of money because we’re given a bed to sleep on and food to eat. But when’s the last time the dorm bought me my Head and Shoulders 2-n-1 shampoo and conditioner? My Suave Ocean Breeze body wash? My lavender scented candle because my socks smell musty? 80/20 is too unbalanced to assume we will never need bare necessities in our everyday lives.

I think the amount of money we receive as a student worker should go under review and be changed to 70/30. A good chunk of it is still going to towards paying off our school bill but it has the added bonus of giving us a little more money to live off of. We’re going to have to struggle enough with money as adults, ANYWAY. We shouldn’t have to spend our very early twenties trying to find enough quarters to dry our last load of laundry or go get a pizza because we bombed a midterm and now our brains are telling us we are failures. So, raise the bar and the paychecks so that students can worry a little less and buy pizza a little more.

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