Monday, October 11, 2010

A Poor College Student

A Poor College Student

By Allison Adams 09-30-10 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 10-01-10

It’s been a rather lengthy process, but my daughter has finally adopted an appropriate moniker: Poor College Student.

Her epiphany came on my recent visit to see her, during which I discovered things were completely out of control.

I took her out to lunch at the Broadway Bistro as a special treat, and the maitre’d greeted her by her name and asked if she wanted to be seated at her “regular table”.

“Honey, I want to tell you a little story while we’re waiting for our waiter to bring me my tuna melt special, and bring you ‘your usual’.”

“I hope he gets my order right. The waiter who normally serves me isn’t here today.”

“Honey, I want to tell you about the life of a Poor College Student.”

“OH NO! Who is it? Is it somebody I know?”

“Its you, dear.”

“No, seriously – who is it?”

“Honey, a Poor College Student can’t afford to dine out a couple times a day, seven days a week.”


“A Poor College Student knows that a California Roll from the Chic Sushi Bar, and twice-daily $5 grande-double-espresso-skinny-mocha-Carmelita-lattes from Starbucks are not staples – they are extravagances.”

“But, I need my lattes.”

“We’ve had this talk before.”

“Then can we please talk about something else?”

“A Poor College Student realizes that even frequent visits to Taco Bell will break her budget. She knows that generic brand peanut butter is her friend.”

“But, choosy mothers choose Jiff!”

“But, you are not a choosy mother. You are a Poor College Student, and a Poor College Student must forage through the aisles of the grocery store, and suffer over the saucepan on the stovetop, just like the rest of us.”

“I don’t know how to cook!”

“It would have been nice if you’d shown a little interest in learning while you were still living at home. I can’t believe I let you go without showing you the basics. No mother should let her little birds leave the nest without making sure they can fry an egg, grill a cheese sandwich, and prepare a box of Hamburger Helper.”

“Hamburger Helper? Really?”

“If you can tackle a term paper, you can surely follow the directions on the back of the Hamburger Helper box.”

“Where is our waiter?”

“There’s more.”

“Please, no …”

“A Poor College Student doesn’t make weekly trips to the mall to purchase the latest fashion trends.”

“Are you serious?”

“Very. Also, a Poor College Student cannot continue to download the latest hits from the iTunes web site. She has to exercise complete control over her computer mouse when it begins to guide the cursor arrow on the screen toward the ‘Buy Now’ button.”

“Its just so convenient...”

“Furthermore, just because a Poor College Student is fortunate enough to have a car at her disposal, she doesn’t need to volunteer to be the chauffer every single time a group of Poor College Students holler ‘Road Trip!’ A Poor College Student understands that a tank of unleaded gasoline is a luxury.”

“I’m losing my appetite.”

“A Poor College Student doesn’t have the money to buy a ticket to every rock concert that hits the town, even though EVERYBODY ELSE bought one, and is going.”

“But, but …”

“Simply put, dear, a Poor College Student must refrain from hitting the fashion runway, hitting the road, hitting the town, or hitting the ‘Buy Now’ button, as long as she’s a Poor College Student.”

“Uuuugggghhhh! All right! I hear you! I’ll reel it in! I’ll refrain! I’ll go to the grocery store. I’ll learn to cook. I’ll make coffee in that, that, THING that sits on my kitchen counter …”

“It’s called a ‘Mr. Coffee’, honey.”

“… I’ll park my car. I’ll play OLDIES on my iPod. I’ll wear… *sigh*… LAST YEAR'S BOOTS!”

“Awwww, there-there now. It’s not the end of the world. These are really small sacrifices to make, for a large gain later in life!”

“I guess you’re right, mom. After all, when I graduate from college, I’ll be … ”

“You’ll be a Poor College Graduate, dear.”


  1. Allison,
    Kathy Bessom here, from Athens, TN! (Speech Pathologist). Oh, I love this post....your first entry I have read. You are a delightful so talented! Hello to your darling "Poor College Student"!

  2. I will never forget you, Kathy, and what you did for my sweet girl. Thank you for taking time to read my columns, and for sending your kind remarks! AA