I feel like I'm the "Poor Friend"

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by MWM958, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2014

    Don't know if this is the right section for this, but I guess I'll post it here anyway.

    I'm in college right now, and on track for getting my education degree soon. I've made the necessary sacrifices, I'm taking the loans, and I'm doing good in school. But I feel like crap, because I have no moola.

    All my friends are getting apartments, go out all the time, and are just enjoying life. Many of them even went down to Miami this Spring Break while I sit here at home. I've been looking for a job for God knows how long but HOLY CRAP I can't find anything. I just want a stupid min. wage job so I at least have some spending money.

    I feel like I'm becoming so distant from my friends, and they're getting reluctant to hang out with me. Even when I scrape enough money together and we do hang out, I'm usually bringing a bagged lunch to whatever diner they go to, or getting a single domestic draft beer at a bar. And when we talk, I just can't relate to anything they talk about, and I can't even reminisce with them when they talk about all the exciting things they've done because I didn't have enough money to go out with them.

    I come from a pretty wealthy part of North Jersey, but my family is solidly Working Class, and I just feel so alienated from everyone. I know I sound like a typical Millennial whiner, but I'm sorry I'd like to have friends, enjoy life, and ride the wave of "got my own apartment!", "went to Miami!", and "had a great weekend!". And I want to work. I've looked all over for any job, and it is not easy, especially with classes.

    I don't know. I just feel so lonely. And I feel inadequate when I see everyone else with all this stuff and having all of this fun. I'm no wuss, and I've had my fair share of girls, but it feels extremely emasculating when you can never take a girl out. You're only young once, and I'm tired of using my youth to conserve and "be frugal" so I can graduate with debt and enter a horrible job market.

    And I don't blame my friends for getting annoyed with me. I really don't buy the argument that "well, if they were your real friends they wouldn't get annoyed with you not having money." But I don't blame. If I had a friend who didn't have health insurance, and was sick all the time, and extremely contagious, do you blame me for not hanging with him all the time?

    I don't blame my friends, I guess I just blame the system (that's as political as I will get in this thread, don't worry).

    Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? And if so, how did you deal with it? Especially looking to hear from Millennials.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Mar 11, 2014

    I understand how you feel. For a long time, I felt like that was all I did-worry about money, never have enough, always looking for the next opportunity to get money. And it wasn't like I wanted money to go to Miami-it's like you said, I wanted to have a burger and not have to pay in dimes and nickels. It's hard-sometimes we still struggle now, and we both have good jobs.

    I could give you the cliched "keep your eye on the prize" speech, but I don't think that's what you want, or need. I can't offer much except for a shoulder. I feel ya.

    My best job in college was a computer lab monitor. Tons of time to do homework, access to computers obviously, and the pay was decent. It wasn't advertised either, I just walked in and offered to work the hours no one else wanted to. My advice on the job front is to be tenacious, find a place you want to work, and sell yourself to the supervisor. Make it impossible not to hire you.
     
  4. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Mar 11, 2014

    Might I suggest looking at jobs in central NJ - Monmouth/Ocean County area? If you're 5-8 or K-12 certified, there's some jobs around me in great districts that i've seen (and you've probably seen as well).

    You might've looked already, but I went to college with some people who exclusively looked at jobs in North Jersey, because they wanted to teach at the best schools in the state or because they wanted the most money or because they wanted to teach in a district most similar to where they were educated
     
  5. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2014

    Not really looking for a teaching job at the moment, considering I have not graduated yet. Just looking for a "Starving College Student" job right now. But thanks for the advice.

    Some solid advice here, thank you. And yeah, I guess my post was more of a venting exercise, so thank you for being a shoulder lol. Though you did give some good advice.
     
  6. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2014

    Does your university have a foundation job search department? The university I went to had the campus job board then another one where outside business looking for interns to pay for work could post. I believe they even did interviews on campus. Something to think about as a job resource. Also you can go to your college career center and see if they can help you with finding employment.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mar 11, 2014

    Two of my friends are in a similar situation right now.

    One lost her job a few years ago, and she's been going to college. She graduates in May. She hasn't been working in all that time, and she's got very little money coming in. The other friend went through a messy divorce, took a huge loss selling her house, and hasn't started her new job yet, even though she moved back here in November.

    They'll go shopping with me (even for groceries) just to get out and about for awhile. We all went out to dinner on Saturday and I bought for everyone with a gift card I'd gotten when I had my surgery in January. I've picked up the cover charge at a couple of bars when we went out for the evening. We've had girls' night at my house. We did potluck, games, and movies.

    My friends are my friends whether they have money or not, and whether they have health insurance or not, and whether they are sick or not. Heck, I have always had health insurance, and I was the sick one for a few years.

    Hang in there. Things will get better.
     
  8. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2014

    You won't struggle forever. You have to look at your situation as temporary. Eventually you'll graduate, find a job and will be able to afford to do more things.

    You're probably already aware of this, but you won't get rich teaching. However, you will more than likely live comfortably, especially if you live the single life for a while. To me it doesn't sound like you are trying to keep up with the Joneses; you just don't want to be broke. Totally fixable.

    Have you considered bar tending? Free drinks, flexible schedule, opportunity to meet women/new friends and decent tip potential. A close friend is now a hedge fund manager but I swear, he says even now that the most fun he ever had was as a bartender. Definitely something you should look into.

    As for your friends, they just seem to be in a different income bracket than you, the good ol' friends with money. Finances or lack thereof can be a strain on any relationship. Just don't allow it to drive a wedge between you and your friends. Try not to let your envy turn into something bitter. You'll get to a comfortable place soon. :) Just don't go comparing yourself to other people and their situations. You'll end up crazy.
     
  9. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2014

    Discussing finances with friends is a great move and will save you headaches. In college I had a friend that worked part-time but had little money to spare. I never knew what sort of restaurants to invite her to. We all loved her to death but it was always awkward. Should we invite her to the Hamptons over the long weekend? If we offer to pay would it make her feel bad or insulted? Am I an awful/snob friend because I make assumptions about her finances?

    Have the discussion. It could be they don't know how to approach the situation either.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Mar 11, 2014

    My dad will sometimes hire starving college students during the summer - he works for an audio-visual company. So if you're willing to work 12-14 hour days for like $300-500 a show and you are handy or know basic computer skills, wouldn't hurt to send emails to the resource departments at AV companies in Northern NJ and NYC.
     
  11. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Mar 11, 2014

    I was the "poor friend" too. I paid my own way through school with scholarships and a part-time job life guarding at the school pool. I remember my friends would want me to go in on that 5/5/5 Domino's deal, where you get 3 pizzas for $5 each. I would tell them no, I don't have $5. And they'd be like c'mon don't be cheap. But I would actually not have $5, and if I did I certainly wouldn't have spent it on a crappy pizza.

    It actually did drive me and one of my very close friends apart. She had wealthy parents give her money all the time and would go shopping and partying. I simply couldn't afford to hang out with her, and couldn't relate to any of her situations. She once complained her parents "only" gave her $100 for the week. We drifted apart.

    Being a broke college student won't last forever. And the thrifty part of you that comes out now will be extremely important for the future. Your youth doesn't end after you graduate from college. Once you get a job and can afford to take out girls, date as much as you want! You have all your 20s and your 30s to be young and date. Don't feel down. Get through college with as little debt as possible and then live it up. :) Best wishes!
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Mar 11, 2014

    I completely understand. Of course, not everyone goes by this one & only plan where they graduate by 22, have that career by 24, get married by 25, get that dream house by 26, & have kids by 27. Sure, that sounds like a nice plan, but no one can guarantee it nor wants it.

    As long as you know you're progressing & moving towards something, that's all that matters. Sure, we run into roadblocks & there may be times when we feel our lives are at a standstill (hopefully just for a while), but just stay on course.

    You just happen to have a set of friends who are moving faster, but that doesn't mean you're a failure by any means. Your time will come!
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Mar 11, 2014

    I can relate. I worked at least two part-time jobs and for a year and a half I worked three to save up for student teaching.

    No, it's not fun but it won't last forever.

    But being frugal is an important lesson for a teacher in training. Depending on the market where you live, you might have to sub and work another part time job for a while before you get your foot in the door.

    In the meantime, find poorer friends! I did and they are lifelong buds even though most of them went into a field other than education and drive much nicer cars than I do.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2014

    Hey there! What about tutoring?
     
  15. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I would STRONGLY suggest doing some sort of babysitting / nannying. Part-time during the school semesters, full-time in the summer.

    I didn't go to school in Jersey, but the affluent area you are describing sounds very similar to where I went to school. This is great for you, because families in those types of areas tend to pay very well. I know you are a man --- even better!!! You'd be surprised how many parents would fight over you.

    I worked for several different families in college. Some were strictly babysitting for a few hours here or there (younger kids). I had another amazing job where I was more of a driver. The kids were both older (middle school / early high school) and had lots of after-school activities. I basically drove them around, and made sure they did their homework. The family encouraged me to get as much of my own work done at their house as well.

    I could go on and on about the pros....

    I would suggest going to your school of education dean and asking if there is a system in place for advertising "babysitting wanted" ads or where parents post "babysitter needed"
    EXAMPLE: my school had a bulletin board in the main school of ed. building.

    You could also swing by nearby coffee shops / daycares / etc. I found that just by asking politely they let me post my wanted ad. There are also quite a few babysitting sites out there.

    Good Luck!!!!
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Mar 12, 2014

    What about tutoring? See if there's a local library you can hang a flier. Chances are you could tutor right in the library.

    I know it's great to have friends and do things with them but honestly in college I did a lot of "hanging out" with friends not necessarily spending money doing things. One friend with a few lawn chairs (in nice weather of course!) and a guitar and we were having fun for hours. No money needed! If they were really good friends they'd still want to hang out with you even if you couldn't afford to do much.
     
  17. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Mar 12, 2014

    oh yeah; I was going to suggest getting new friends too. :D
     
  18. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I don't know what happened to my first post :wub:
    But here we go again:
    You seem to have a good head on your shoulders because you're prioritizing now. You're almost done! And it's lonely and I get that. You're going to be ok; just hang in there.
    Can you do some tutoring? Perhaps you know of one teacher friend who can put in a good word for you? Be sure to tutor in a public place like the library or coffee shop. Tutors get great money by the half hour, so if you get a couple of these a week, you'll make some money to meet friends for dinner or coffee. Oh, and enjoy the tutoring too. You're definitely helping out someone who really needs the help.
    :hugs:
     

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