I’ve always appreciated my meager beginnings. Growing up in poverty taught me how to stretch a dollar, enjoy thriftiness, and live without. I’ve never thought that I had it the worst of my friends, nor did I think that the world owed me anything. Matter of fact, I knew which classmates had less and struggled even more.
In talking with a student this week I was reminded that we need to practice awareness of the hardships all around us. Most of us, myself included, live far above our means and that facade makes us blind to the poverty around us. For example, I have had moments where I am upset because I work two jobs, have two degrees, and yet I struggle financially. If a younger version of myself could give me advice, I’m sure she’d tell me to think about living with less and remembering where I came from.
Listening to my student really shed light on where some of my students come from. They’re not all college freshmen living in the dorms. Actually, that would be the minority of my students. Most of my students are returning to school to further their education after working in other careers. Many have other obligations, whether that be family members or work. Some of my students are working near-full time jobs and still somehow going to school full time.
I was thankful for the conversation today. Since I’m new to this part of Wisconsin, I really appreciate moments to learn about my students. Today was a really good day and it’s been great to reflect.