Friday, March 04, 2005


This would be really great news if the kids whose parents were independently wealthy blue-bloods who don't even need jobs in the first place - not to mention those that retired early to cash-out their stock options and who are planning on finding some other CEO position four years later when their daughter graduates from Harvard - didn't benefit as much or more than the poor kid from North Carolina whose single mother is a fry cook at Friendly's.

But for all those kids who just got accepted to Yale and whose parents really do make less than $40,000 a year, I say congratulations. By way of preparation, let me make a few cautionary suggestions:

1.) Since you're poor already, you might get offended by the incredibly rich kids at your school who act poor as a way of rebelling against their parents. Don't worry - not only are they terribly uninteresting people, but since they don't really have any sincere interest in being poor, you won't have to interact with them.

2.) Since you're not getting a stipend on top of the free tuition, it will be hard finding any federal loans to go skiing with your roommate up in Vermont on the weekends. You might also find it difficult to get grant money to study abroad in France with your boyfriend. Don't worry, though - waitressing is its own cultural experience, and your classmates will think you're superhuman if you work on things other than papers.

3.) Summers might be difficult, but keep your chin up and remember that fall is around the corner. Just because you now resent the feeble-minded peasants in the small town you grew up in in North Carolina, don't think the feeling's not reciprocal. All those kids you went to school with - and more than likely your parents - despise you for all that book learning you been doing and those fancy new shirts you're wearing. Have fun at your job at the local attorneys office, but remember that just because he wrote you a recommendation letter last year doesn't mean he's not incredibly jealous and spiteful this year. To pass the time as you staple and file, just think about all the internships and trips to Italy your classmates are currently on.

4.) Finally, and perhaps most importantly, remember that the reasons why your mother had to raise you herself - lots of unprotected sex with multiple partners coupled with copious amounts of drug use - are precisely the things students in college are looking to do. Though you've had 18 years worth of solid moral teachings from a woman who's seen the incredible harm that poor decisions can wreak on a young life, there's no reason why you can't live a little.

Besides, everyone else is doing it, and it's not like you're paying for it.

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