On March 20, USA Today College published an article by Print Communication major Christopher Issac ’14. “My journey: Going to college while going into poverty” focuses on Issac’s struggle to maintain emotional and financial stability in the wake of his parents’ divorce.
I never became homeless, but I came close. The fallout of my parents’ divorce greatly upset the financial balance in my household, costing us more than just money. They would still work individually to contribute to the mutual goal of paying for my education, but they were too angry to cooperate on a daily basis to provide stability in the family. The divided finances made it necessary to wear a coat and gloves at home because my father’s house had no heat in the winter. There were times we went without electricity. I had to get used to cold showers each day. Day by day I’d learn to survive on less.
Most difficult to accept was the loneliness. Adolescence is already a period rife with insecurity because teenagers want to shed their childhood and be the independent adult who has it all together. I was more awkward than the norm during my transition to college because I was afraid of revealing too much of my living situation. Every time I talked to someone, I was like a superhero donning his costume to protect his identity. I hid the true me, putting on an act to give everyone else what I thought they expected. I felt like if anyone found out the truth, they would use my shame as a weapon.