When you’ve been accepted into college but can’t afford to go
Caoimhe writes about her struggle to access education and employment
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You know what is one of the most soul crushing things? Getting into the college of your dreams but having no financial way of going…
Let me introduce myself as one of the so many young people today stuck living with their parents after busting their butts through 14 years of education to get absolutely nothing out of it in the end. At my mocks at the start of a new year I considered dropping out of school but I heard that nagging voice from my elders ‘’you can't get anywhere in life without education’’ so I stuck it out. It was crippling but I got through it.
So where is my life right now? I did a course for a year because the standard to get into the actual course I wanted to do was too high. Between the craze of Leaving Cert, as well as learning a lot of things I have not come to use at all in the past year I couldn't meet the portfolio requirements, so I had to take another shot at it.
The problem was I wasn't getting any financial aid and I'm still not. I paid for that course, I paid for all the things I needed and to travel every day in and out. I used funds that had been saved since I was born. Birthday money, communion money, confirmation money, little bits here and there and then just after Christmas my fountain had dried up. Crawling on my knees back too my parents I had to ask them for money even though they had other things to worry about; their mortgage, my other siblings, if the roof was going to come off the shed. They didn't have to pay for anything it was up to them but they wanted to see me do what I love to do.
Since I started that course and until this moment in time I have handed out 153 CVS into the city. Out of all of them I have gotten 12 phone calls and one interview. I would hear of the position being filled by an aunt’s niece or something like that. Maybe i didn't have the right experience but how am I to get experience when nobody will give me a job. I have the older generation saying “Sure just get a job!” but jobs don't fall out of the sky.
How can you judge someone in a 20 min interview? When you hit rock bottom and busk some days with your guitar just so you can have some money that's your own not you having to walk down to the kitchen and beg your mom for a tenner to buy a shirt or a book you really wanted. It’s very hard to live this way. If the person you are asking has unlimited money you wouldn't feel as guilty, but when you are bleeding someone dry that feels terrible.
Sure enough I got into the course of my dreams but I don't know if I can take any more money off my parents. I applied for social welfare and I don't qualify for that. I won’t get a grant for college next year because I don't qualify for that. I feel like I am constantly hearing that I don't qualify for that or I don't have the qualifications or ‘’you're just not what we are looking for’’. It can be hard dealing with all this rejection over and over. I never thought unemployment would become such a huge part of my life. But sure we are all in the same boat.