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The root of all evil?

By | January 30, 2013 | Opinion

How many times have you heard someone exclaim that money — or our love for the green beast — is the root of all evil?

Today, I am a believer.

Rent is due in three days, the amount of gasoline in my car is as nonexistent as Narnia and, to top it off, the financial aid office recently notified me of a hold on my account.

Nothing in this world weighs on my mind more than money – or the lack thereof.  I know I am not alone in this.

In a survey conducted by the National Depression Campaign in 2000, the numbers showed that financial issues acted as a trigger for depression for 88 percent of those questioned (based on interviews with 1,069 people).

Those questioned added that financial problems were as likely to cause as much grief as a death or illness in the family.

That was 13 years ago. Can you imagine our state of grief over finances today?

From 1994 to 1998, experts witnessed a preposterous climb in depression consultations from 4 million to 9 million. This increase was also money-related.

In the United Kingdom, college students are experiencing drops in test scores due to depression over lack of money.

Studies taken from the Royal Holloway University in London found that almost 30 percent of students experienced depression and anxiety throughout the semester, usually escalating near the middle.

Of these students, 350 claimed that they were undergoing a “major financial crisis” affecting their nutrition and traveling to and from school.

If you can relate to any of this, do not feel alone. If anything, stress caused by financial issues is something with which we can all relate.

But is money to blame? Or is it our love and “need” for this man-made commodity that drives us to madness?

One saying that I believe trumps the age-old “root of all evil” quote suggests that where our money is, our heart also lies.

This makes me think. If I were to print bank records dating back to my first semester at Fresno State, what would I find?

I assume that I would find my heart lying amongst a pile of rent receipts, Panda Express rice bowls and empty packs of cigarettes from my once existing habit.

What an even more depressing thought — if I would have saved instead of making ridiculous buys, would I still be in this money-induced depression state, worrying about how I am getting to school and work every day?

Then again, what if ants had machine guns? There will always be a “what if.”

And it’s not as if we, the students, are broke simply because we are irresponsible, as older adults like to annoyingly suggest.

Our lives are unpredictable.

Some have children and husbands or wives — families that rely on one income or less. Some of us live alone and are surviving on food stamps and small paychecks. Others live with roommates and are still unable to live comfortably simply because things happen.

And then there’s fun. We are young and feel entitled to some kind of fun during the semester. Fun should be in our budgets. For some of us, fun is our budget – another way we get ourselves into financial trouble at times.

But today is not the day for me to give my peers budgeting tips and advice on how to save money. Rather, I am here to relate with you because I can.

Let’s just admit it – money sucks.

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