After the graduation of high school, I was forced to experience true adulthood. I had a taste of it that senior year but I knew it wasn’t all it had to offer. You don’t expect for things to get worse but they can. My entire life, we’ve struggled to live. It was just my mom and I, with no one else to help us. My mom made sacrifices as a loving mother does. I was scheduled for college, ready for it. I was always told I was smart enough. I prepared for it for 4 years by taking harder classes. I was even allowed to go out of state as I always wanted. I wanted to be independent and experience what life had to offer. It came at a price, however. I would miss holidays and birthdays with my family. I would celebrate other holidays with friends and their families. I never felt so alone but I was okay. I wasn’t forgotten and I had fun being independent. 

The year ended and I decided I would handle the finances of my school. That’s when I truly realized how money would ruin me. Debt. It’s something we all grow up knowing about but I never knew how badly it would affect my mom and I. I confronted her about it and she assured me that everything would be fine. Bills started to go unpaid and more debt racked onto my mother. You see, prior to my adulthood, my mother had already put herself into debt in order to raise me. I was an accident with no love of a father. My mother was on her own living with family member to family member. I would never know what it was to live in a house with just my parent. I could see my mother struggling. So I gave up my college life out of state and went to a community college I always dreaded. I felt like I was stupid because community college is something of a ridicule to intelligent people. I avoided telling people what school I went to. I took up a job tutoring high schoolers in a program that encouraged college of any kind. And yet, I was embarrassed. 

I paid for the bulk of my college tuition with the aid of my mother, financial aid and grants. But I couldn’t take many classes. The year dragged on. I felt behind. My final year, I wanted to finish faster. I took on another job. Chick-fil-A. Within 6 months I became a team leader (like an assistant manager). I hated the job. People were cruel. Co-workers wouldn’t do their jobs properly. We were overworked and others would agree. My family made fun of the job because it was a fast food joint. Yet they loved to go there. I was ashamed to work there because of her words. Yes, her. 

I was always tired. My social life was non-existent. I struggled to survive my classes and work 60+ hours. But I needed the money. My grades suffered but I passed. I got my associates. I was ready to go to the university. I had no other choice if I wanted to survive in the future. An associates is nothing. A bachelor’s is kind of something. A doctorate is what I want. I want to save lives. That’s what I’d think. But I couldn’t pay tuition. So, I stopped for a year of school and solely worked. Raising as much as I can. Which was mediocre. I raised enough for a year. My school boasts about having low tuition. It was still too much. I lost my grant because my mother “made too much.” How? We lived with my grandmother who makes nothing at her job in the hospital. She’s a scheduler with a beginner’s money. My mother works at a different hospital and is getting the highest she could be paid in a position that forces her to do everything in the office. None of them have degrees. But still I go. 

Things don’t go as planned. More and more expenses arise. I help my mom with bills as much as I can. But it still isn’t enough. I had quit my jobs to study for school. I would find another next summer. I hated the jobs anyways. If I had to, I’d go into private tutoring. Now I can’t pay my final payment for classes, my cell phone’s bill is overdue, bills bills bills. We have no money and I don’t want to ask my mother for more debt money. I feel pathetic. I feel angry. I feel annoyed. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of breathing. But I can’t leave. I can’t leave my mom alone. I don’t care about anyone but her. So, I continue to struggle on like everyone else. What will happen now? How am I supposed to hope for a career of money if it takes more money to get there? How do other people in worse positions than me do it? How do they get there? The government doesn’t want to help me. Civilians won’t help me. Family won’t help me. I do all I can but it isn’t enough apparently. For now, all I can do is smile while I keep killing myself inside. I understand now why thieves exist. They just steal from the wrong people. I never wanted to grow up. And now I understand why.

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