Woke up to an email from my university’s financial aid office outlining my aid and cost of attendance for the next year. Fast forward a few hours later; I was talking to an old school friend who asked me when I would be visiting so we hang out. I said “I don’t know, whenever I’m done paying for school.” They then proceeded to ask me to send cash for “chilling.” In my not so passive aggressive way, I sent the link to my “I Will Not Send You Money” post.
The reply I got was “but you’re in America, it’s all rosy over there. Everything is free.” I took a screenshot of how much tuition was a semester and sent it to prove a point; but instead got a “Wow, that’s a lot. And you’re still paying, you’re rich. All the more reason to send some cashito(money).”
Then I had to break down why America is not rosy or better, by a long shot. Especially when it comes to outward appearances. I learnt very early into my transition here that I should NEVER envy another person for their material possessions. You see, America relies on the loan scheme way too much for me to feel anything less than sorry for people who like to flaunt (borrowed) “wealth”.
Growing up, there was a certain kind of envy or fierce admiration my friends and I had of America or other “cool” countries. Of course, this was accompanied by myths such as:
- Money grew on trees.
- White people are the nicest, dreamiest people.
- People hand you money for no damn reason AT ALL.
- ALL white people REALLY, REALLY LOVE black people .
- Everything is all fun and giggles.
Obviously, this ain’t nowhere CLOSE to the truth. I learnt very ,VERY quickly that just because someone has something here, does not mean they OWN(“it. The loan system is such that the bank can take anything that’s not paid for. There is absolutely NOTHING to envy.
Meanwhile back home, if I see someone roll up next to me in a Rolls Royce, best believe I will turn all shades of envy, even Cain won’t have anything one me! Why? Because if their name is on that car, best believe they OWN it. There isn’t a big bank loan scheme because it is too risky. And I don’t blame them! Directions aren’t given by street signs but rather landmarks and popular businesses around – exactly where will the bank notification go?
I just hate the perception we’ve allowed ourselves to hold of Americans and Europeans. They aren’t all that. No need to envy anyone.