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College students love the theory of independence in their own life.  After eighteen years of dreaming, they’re now out in the world and finally mom and dad aren’t telling them waht time to go to bed.

Freedom?  What could be better?  College students love this concept.

Unfortunately, actually carrying it out is often a disaster.  True freedom from your family requires that (gasp) you pay your own bills; you get a job (or two); you have to clean up after yourself, etc.  College students are not so fond of these ideas.  They require work, a concept many high school graduates have not yet grasped.

As a way of finding an acceptable compromise to actual freedom and living with their parents, college students will guilt-trip their parents into giving them money, cars, cell phones, furniture, free laundering services, and so on and so forth.  This makes them feel independent, as they can live in their own dorm or apartment, but they still have mom and dad’s financial security and a complete lack of money woes. If the bank looks low, call grandma or Aunt Sue or dad and give them a custom-tailored sob story.

If you are a college student paying your own way and you meet one of these, please remain calm.  Yes, they will discuss how poor they are as they sip their fourth five dollar Starbucks of the day.  Yes, they will ask you for money to attend the movies, buy drinks, go on a hot air balloon ride, etc.  Just smile and say no.  Don’t try to tell them you are actually broke.  They will willingly engage in an I’m-poorer-than-you contest which will end in tears and lead you to slap them.

For you see, being poor as a college student is a sure sign of freedom, giving the illusion that they are supporting themselves.  So they must, at all costs, appear dirt poor.  The poorer the better.  They will get a definite one-up on you if they complain about their lack of money first.  First complainer gets ten extra hip points.

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