← Back to all stories

Photo ofundefined

As I was growing up money was all around me even at places like my grade school. At my grade school you would pay a dollar to wear “free dress” or more commonly known as your everyday clothes. If I wanted to participate I would have to find a dollar bill or quarters around the house to do so. Every time we knew there was a free dress day we stripped the house in search of quarters or even a dollar bill that had been misplaced.

Ever since I remember having those inferences with money, my whole life has been centered around money; every day there was something I would do or say that would involve money. Everything was always about money. Even the innocence of asking to see a movie would involve money with the typical response always being “Sure, do you have money?”, “How will you pay?” Rarely ever was the response about what I was watching or how it was; even after the movie was over the first thing said was “Give me the change”.

The older I got the more and more money consumed those around me, or the more I noticed it. Soon getting toys and books for Christmas turned into cards with a crisp $20 in it. It was nice to get a gift, but was this what growing up was about. Was growing up just about money how much money you have?

The more I progressed the more I saw on TV how you were either born wealthy or you struggled through poverty your whole life. It was just TV though; this can't be what the real world is like. Right? Wrong every year money becomes a bigger and bigger issue that you either have to face or are blessed to just pay outright. This is why two days after I turned sixteen I got my first job as a local ice cream shop, and ever since then I have worked twenty to twenty-five hours a week. Finally, I would never have to depend on anyone else for money. I could buy whatever I wanted. Or so I thought as money came in money went out just as quickly. I had to pay for gas, insurance, and car payments.

Working so often and having to depend on a job not only teaches you the responsibility of time management but money management. Getting a job is not all that it seemed to be when you were a kid. It takes two weeks to get the money you work hard for. A job is the gateway to many opportunities in a restless world, but it teaches you many lessons you otherwise would not have learned.

© Gwen Sivori . All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.