Founded on 7th July, 2019 by Arc. Bilal Abdullahi, a graduate of Bayero University Kano. BUKdaily aims to provide Nigerian students with a comprehensive resources encompassing daily news, campus updates and academic updates from Nigeria universities.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Low income students create ‘Being not rich’ guide to surviving UGA

  Bilal Abdullahi       Saturday, August 24, 2019

As the fall semester at the University of Georgia starts, some students enter their classrooms with a smile and a summer glow.

Others, like third year student Cece Chisholm, dread the first week of class as they wait for the list of required materials they can’t afford.

“It’s crazy to walk into school the first day of class and already have all this stress because you know you won’t be able to afford this book,” Chisholm said.

Despite their struggles, a community of low income students found relief in one another after publishing a guide to surviving life in Athens.

Senior Kat Barker created the guide, titled “Not Being Rich at UGA”, saying she felt a lack of support from the university.

The guide, a collaborative document in Google Docs, focuses on links and tips to money saving options or programs for students. The document includes lower rental options on and off campus, tips on transportation and advice on how to maintain a healthy social life.

“Low income students have power and options,” Barker said.


Barker, who identifies as a low income student, personally uses the guidelines to save money. With the help of tips from the guide, she spent no money on textbooks this semester.

The guide offers a list of tips on a range of subjects. If a student is worried about how to afford a semester abroad, there’s a link in the guide to help. Clinics are listed that can assist underinsured students. It also provides a section on how to best preserve meals for a longer lasting food supply.

 Not Being Rich guide

Cece Chisholm a third year double major in English and English Education with a minor in theater, said the guide has been useful for her.

Gabriela Miranda
Aside from financial tips, the purpose of the guide is to alleviate stress and anxiety that comes with financial struggles.

Chisholm recalls a time when her financial struggles led her to consider giving up her dream of becoming a Bulldog. Barker, who identifies as a low income student, says at times its difficult to balance the stress of personal finance with class work.

“It’s hard to focus on your midterm when you don’t know how you’re gonna pay for your rent,” Chisholm said.

However, she says the guide helped her realize she wasn’t alone in her struggles.

Michael Gene Thomas, lecturer for UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, is happy to see low income students working together to wisely spend and collect resources. Thomas believes in changing the narrative for students with financial need.

“It’s important to know this is temporary and you’re becoming something great by choosing to pursue a degree.”

Thomas studied at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia and has struggled with financial hardship and the stress it generates. His personal experience with financial hardships helps him better understand students, he said.

Thomas is teaching all sections of Intro to Personal Finance this semester, where he highlights the mental burdens low income students are faced with. Thomas touches on the stigma of being a low income student as well as their internal struggles, saying these students are forced to balance the priority of either paying rent or going to a study session. Some have to balance being a student and the main income maker.

“Where you are is not a reflection of who you are,” Thomas said.

While education is important, Thomas believes it’s the sense of support that students primarily need. He applauds the student-made guide for providing that.

“Throwing resources at students isn’t enough, we need to sow into their spirit as well,” Thomas said.

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