By the Editorial Board
Remembering to love yourself is hard, even under the perfect circumstances. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and think to yourself, “I had a great night’s sleep. Why do I feel like I want to be run over by a Canisius van?” Perhaps you want to be squashed by the shuttle because you truly don’t want to take the biology exam you have, or maybe because a close friend has been blowing you off for weeks and making you feel useless, or just maybe it’s because if you got hit by the van, you would get free tuition. That would be pretty sweet, wouldn’t it?
Financial stress is something that plagues every college student at some point in their careers. Sometimes the stress is a direct result of the bad choices you made. (Did you have to use your last $20 to buy that 30-rack when you know very well that you don’t get paid for another week and ran out of bread yesterday?) Sometimes it’s because of bad choices your friend made. (You took my card to buy gum and instead bought a life-size cardboard cutout of Jack Eichel for your dorm? Why do they even have those at Rite Aid?). Or sometimes it’s completely out of your control. (How was I supposed to know the “check engine” light in my car actually meant something?) However it hits you, financial instability is bound to be an absolute nightmare.
In the age where there is an undisputed trend towards preaching self love above many other things, it is hard to subscribe when you’re using paper towels for toilet paper because you won’t have any money for TP until Friday when you get paid. How can you, in good conscience, wipe your butt with the same stuff you use to wipe the spilled ramen flavor packet off your counter? As rough as paper towel is on your booty, you are rougher on yourself.
The truth is, self love is exceptionally difficult, even for those who are independently wealthy. That’s not to say that money doesn’t buy happiness, because money certainly can, to some degree. Objectively, it’s less harmful to cry wearing a silk robe in a nice heated house than it is to cry in three layers of sweatshirts because you “forgot” to pay your heating bill. With that fact locked down, still know that money certainly is not everything.
Here’s some good news for you: being financially unstable is a malady that will probably be solved at some point in your future! You are actively pursuing a college degree, which means that you will have an advantage in the job market. You are reading this article which means you know how to read (which is a privilege untouched by much of the world), and you are actively worried about your finances. Although this worry might eat you up inside, at least you are conscious about your shortcomings. As the old saying goes: being bad at something is the first step to being kind of good at it.
Even though it would be amazing to slap on a face mask from Lush and sink into a bubble bath (rose-scented for the ladies, musky woods-scented for the men, bubble gum-scented for the non-binary people; please remember that scents have genders), you can’t do that. The only thing you can afford from Lush is lip scrub and you’re not kissing anyone, so you should probably spend that $7 on some bread and toilet paper, for God’s sake. However, it has the potential to be equally as amazing to realizing that there are so many college students who are in the same boat as you. (Okay, it will never be as amazing; have you ever smelled Lush products?)
In reality, money rules the world and will probably rule much of your life until you have produced enough of it to live comfortably. That is, unless you discover capitalism for the scam it is and decide to get the heck out of the United States of America and into a place that won’t treat you and your labor as a commodity. Until one of those fates befalls you, try not to worry too much. Someday you will get a job, or marry rich, or sue a small family business for not hanging a wet floor sign and seize all of their assets in a brutal legal battle. Whatever happens, you will be fine. In the meantime, try to love yourself. Frozen body, chafed butt, unmasked face and all.