I, along with almost every other university student I know, have at least once uttered the phrase “I can’t do _________, I’m too poor right now.”
It’s true, for many of us in North America with access to a university education, finding a way to pay for it can be a struggle. With student loans, rent, food, (hopefully) somewhat of a social life, and in the case of us INDEV students, the prospects of the ever-looming fourth year and its wonderful price tag – the costs sure seem to add up. However, it is in times of wallowing in self-pity, that one needs to take a step back and realize our incredible privilege. In the grand spectrum of things – we have it pretty great here.
We all want to do good in the world, at least I’m pretty sure that is why 95% of us joined this program. We all wish to nourish our bodies with organic food, buy eco-friendly products, and support products that are ethically produced – yet many (or most) of us find ourselves continuously returning to what we know as convenient and affordable whether it be in the big box stores (Walmart or Costco) or the chain grocery companies (Sobey’s, Food Basics, etc.) by simply using the excuse “I am a student, I’m too poor to afford that”.
Imagine spending hours every day walking to obtain water to drink – which in many cases is still not potable. Imagine the farmer that struggles to obtain an adequate crop yield as drought becomes an increasing occurrence in his region. Imagine the reality of “poor” that millions of other people face every day. A healthy dose of these realities may have a way of clearing your head.
While I myself wish to single handedly save the world, the challenge becomes difficult as that large sum of student debt looms over my head. So, which does one choose – to make the ethical decision, or to make the choice that will satisfy my needs without hurting my wallet? I think this is something I’ve struggled with for quite some time now… and I’m still not really sure what the right or easiest answer is, or if there even is one at all.