As a graduate student, the salary one makes is not outrageously high, but is decent enough to have our heads under a roof, food on our tables and an occasional splurge on clothes/tech devices/alcohol, you name it. This post came to mind the other day, when I was talking with my brother about grad student income and what not (note: my brother is also a grad student in a related area). I usually complain about how poor I am after I pay my bills, but the conversation we had about poverty levels took the idea to another level. You see, in a given department you will find a variety of graduate students; the ones that come from wealthy backgrounds and have never had to experience not having hot water to shower, and the ones who, on the other hand, have been living the struggle ever since they can remember. My younger brother and I come from middle class backgrounds, but we’ve had some pretty rough times in our lives. However, when talking about poor, I don’t think we’ve ever been that poor.
“Poor is when you don’t have any money to buy bread, and you have to sell drinks made out of dirty water to tourists while making a fool of yourself. Now, that is poor.”
Every now and then I forget that things could be worse, and that there are people who are not having a great time. I am one of the lucky ones.