Money has never been important to me. From a young age, my parents taught me that money doesn’t make a person happy and that you have to work hard to get what you want. I got my first job at the age of 14. I bought my first car at 15. I’ve paid off two loans. I’ve had seven paying jobs, several overlapping. I’ve been a cave guide, a Boys & Girls Club staffer, a server at a dinner a show, a photo assistant and more. I’ve managed to maintain a 3.5 GPA in college while working and taking over 15 credit hours each semester. And yet, I owe $50,000 and have $184 in my bank account.
A month and two weeks from now, I’ll be moving to New York City in what some deem an “adventurous” move. Others might consider “idiotic” or “insane.” I’m terrified and exited. I have no job, no source of income and no apartment (yet).I’ve applied for at least 30 positions, most I don’t consider myself qualified for.
Last week, I spent four days in New York exploring the city, looking at apartments and meeting with stellar, successful Mizzou alums. It was amazing and completely affirmed that the city is where I want to be come June 1. But the reality of money hit hard.
Although my parents love me more than life, they have three other children and their own household/debt to take care of, so expecting them to wave a magic wand and have $37,429 deposited into my account is unrealistic. (For those with parents that can, that’s amazing and I’m not saying you’re spoiled or lucky. Just different situations.) Therefore, I have to sell my car, work my butt off and borrow MORE money so that I can eventually make money.
Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t a huge deal. I’ve always expected it for the lifestyle I plan to lead. But right now, as a soon-to-be-graduate with zero dollars and no sense (see what I did there?), this whole “money” thing has become an all-encompassing, daunting, horrific nightmare. I’ve never worried how I’ll pay my rent. I’ve always had the option to go out for lunch. Grabbing a beer with friends after work never made me nauseous. But here I am, freaking the f*** out.
I know it’ll all be okay. I know my parents will take care of me. I know I’ll get a job and have a place to live. I know that I’ll make it. But as my school career comes to an end and impending adulthood grows nearer, my anxiety has skyrocketed. I’m sure this is normal, but it’s difficult to articulate what’s going on internally. I want to spend time with my friends, I want to enjoy my final few weeks here, I want to breathe. So if this is something you’re also enduring, I’m so sorry. We can do this. It just sucks right now.