I'm a doctoral student, and in my department we are funded. What that means is our tuition is comped, we get our health care covered, and we teach or grade for a living, which means a monthly stipend. It's small, but hardly meager. In many respects for graduate students, we do quite well given the cost of living for our city.

There's a student here who recently complained on FB that our state only gave him $25 a month for food stamps. This made my blood boil. This is a young, capable man with a college degree who is voluntarily choosing to get more degrees. There is nothing stopping him from supporting himself. He has no family and is of a race and economic background of privilege. He is not hindered by medical issues, terrible happenstance, or any other of the various reasons people tend to get food stamps. But he chooses it rather than financial responsibility, and it makes me mad.

I know why, probably. I am very overworked and share my apartment (roommate is lovely though) to support myself. I don't like it. I miss my social life and alone time with my boyfriend at home. I wish I had the time to exist otherwise, but I see my graduate career as a choice and a privilege. I see this as a choice I made, knowing the financial implications, and I am prepared to face them until I am done. I am tired, burned out, and unbelievably overworked ... but I am doing this.

Advertisement

Is my reaction an intensely personal one? Is this actually something you could comment on to someone else? Disregarding for a second "you do you," are there people who honestly abuse the food stamp system? Do we consider students one of this group? Keep in mind, these are students who are not paying for school. Or is this just me reacting out of frustration?

ETA: No, there's no secret family history here or student loans or anything. This is pure laziness. Makes me more angry than otherwise, but based on sound reasoning probably isn't a factor.