‘How could anyone else understand if they did not grow up this way?’: Anonymous narrative

A student sitting rigid at their desk, fully engrossed in their work.

This is a scene every teacher sees any day of the week, but for an anonymous student this could not have meant more.

Coming from a low income family, Anonymous had to pay for all of their own fee payments when it came to extracurriculars and it caused a lot of pain. The anxiety of telling the sponsor they cannot pay again, the fear that their peers will somehow find out and the isolation of not being able to tell anyone that they are struggling.

Too embarrassed to share what they were going through, Anonymous became more isolated, and their fears grew. 

While they have felt money anxiety over things such as food and water bills, Anonymous had never been in control of spending the money. With $15 to spend a month and club sponsors putting on pressure to do more costly events, there was nothing that could be done but to sit in (discomfort) during school, anticipating and running over how they will tell their sponsor they cannot pay. Never comfortable with the idea of opening up to even their closest teacher and friends, all Anonymous could do to take their mind off the pressure was to pour their attention into schoolwork. Yet no amount of work could fully take their mind off what was to come after school, and their grades began to slip.

But the anxiety did not stop there.

As time went on, the club became too much and they had to drop out as it stopped being enjoyable and caused more stress than joy. The hours spent at school just waiting to go home and cry to finally release the pent up emotion did not cease. There was always something else to stress about: new clothes, other extracurriculars, friends asking for favors.

It all becomes too much and there is nothing left to feel but anger. Mad at themselves, mad at their parents and mad at those who have the privilege to afford it all. All of that freedom.

How could anyone else understand if they did not grow up this way? Anonymous could try to explain, but there will always be a be a disconnect between themself and those they would try to open up to.

So there they sit. Silent.