Charlotte Oestrich, Syracuse University

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Coming from a family of six children, my parents, unsurprisingly, can’t afford to pay much for my college education. Each summer I work over eighty hours a week to make enough money to pay my university bills and cover the cost of living. I have worked in restaurant kitchens, ice cream stores, and outdoors as a canvasser. Of course the demanding hours and high energy these jobs require leaves little time for summer leisure– but one of the biggest challenges it presents is an inability to apply for internships, many of which are unpaid. Being unable to gain work experience in my area of study creates a whole new path of challenges by itself. Jobs today require more experience than many educated people like myself have the time for. I worry that I will be unable to find a lucrative job after graduation, or that people who have had the resources to take unpaid internships will be favored for their experiences.