By Kaitlyn Dolinish in News
September 22, 2011
There’s nothing new about the persona of the poor college student, living on Ramen Noodles and counting down the days until that refund check finally arrives.
However, are students struggling more than ever, with the current state of the economy?
Senior Alex Leonhard, a Therapeutic Recreation major, thinks so.
“My parents worked very hard because they didn’t want me and my brother to worry about money,” Leonard said.
Because of this, Alex never had a “real job” in high school, or as an underclassman, for that matter.
She simply spent her summer vacations babysitting, and that was enough.
Alex admits that many things in her life were handed to her on a silver platter.
Her parents had no difficulty paying for her car, her rent, and most importantly her tuition.
The same applied for her younger brother, Spencer, who is currently a freshman at Rutgers University.
That was until a recent turn in events completely altered her family’s income, leaving Alex’s father in between jobs.
Her mother had to return to work at age 55, and is now working in a church.
This has put the Leonhard family on a tight budget.
To cope with this, Alex began her pursuit of a part-time job.
However, without any references or prior work experience, she has been unsuccessful.
Alex says she applied everywhere that was hiring, and at the end of her job search, she applied to nine or ten different places.
She only received one call to come in for an interview, and unfortunately, did not get the job.
This has left Alex in serious financial distress, and she currently has no money for living expenses.
“My roommates have been paying for my groceries and my gas until I can get some money,” she said.
Alex said she has been cleaning their house as a way to try and do her part.
Although Alex’s parents are aware of this, they tell her that they have no money to give her.
She recalls her freshman year, which is a sharp contrast to now.
Living in the dorms, Alex used to spend money on a whim, buying thing she didn’t need and not think twice about it.
For now, Alex is trying to remain hopeful and continue her job search.
“I used to blow money like I didn’t care. I didn’t know the value of a dollar. I’m quickly starting to realize money doesn’t grow on trees,” she said.