Thoughts On Losing Work-Study

Mid-July is always a wonderful time at Drexel: It’s the time that financial aid packages for the next academic year come out. That said, a couple of weeks ago I received mine and boy, you can sure as hell see sequestration is a very real government fuck up. I’m sure it’ll make Wells Fargo very happy though as I’ll be taking out an even bigger chunk of cash from them for next year. Why? Both of my federal loan offerings were significantly cut and my work-study funding was entirely cut. So, after two years (really ~9 months, just two academic years) of working at the University Archives, I’m out. And not just for next year. No, Drexel has a wonderful work-study policy: if you don’t have any funding for the upcoming year, you forfeit your summer work-study funding. Never mind that you had $500 more allocated for it, it’s gone. In other words, “BWAHAHA! Fuck you Drexel Students! We’re too busy being the administration that is completely fucking clueless about real campus issues!” And yet, they wonder why our retention rate is horrible… So, obviously I’m pissed at the government for being completely worthless and the administration here at Drexel for the shaft, but so what else is new? But, I have mixed feelings about not longer working at the Archives.

On the downside of things, working at the Archives was really a lot of fun. Sure, some people would call scanning all of the photos in a collection mundane (and to be fair, it was really repetitive), but I learned a hell of a lot more about this university than I ever imagined. We actually have a pretty neat campus history – and I’m not just saying that because the Macintosh launched here (OK, that’s part of it). Campus could’ve been very different from what it is today: Stratton originally was proposed to look completely different, there could’ve been another building behind Korman and a different building where Papadakis is today, and Calhoun is weird because it was supposed to be a part of a set of buildings. There are also plenty of things that were different: the new data center in Curtis used to be a rifle range, and the commuter’s lounge used to be a bowling alley. Needless to say, working in the Archives kept me busy. Which brings me to the kinda-sorta upside.

Free time. I have quite a bit more of it now. To be fair, yes, I made my schedule for when I would be at the Archives. I do like having free time, but I like it better when I have some way to spend it. As you may have guessed, more updates on here is one way I’m spending it. But, the additional free time means forfeiting the $60-$100 I used to make from work-study every other week. Now, that may not seem like a lot, but trust me when I say it added up. It helped with room and board a lot (having a dining plan is not cheap, and yes, I still have one.) And when you saved $10 of that for fun, it meant a lot more of exploring the city (SEPTA isn’t free after all). That said, part of it funded my free time.

So, in short, my feelings are mixed. The extra money was nice, but it was never about the money. If all I cared about was the money, I could’ve applied to be another front desk drone at a residence hall. But no, I knew where I wanted to look first. It was the Archives. I never even thought twice about it. Does this mean I won’t still visit? Of course not. But it likely does mean less awesome surprises (like a video ad for the IBM Simon that I would link to if YouTube had it.)

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