Money matters

Karishma Mehrotra

Our lives are expensive, but do they have to be?



Sometimes, all that is needed is serious bank. Whether it’s the pursuit of a dream, a goal, a talent, or an interest, money always seems to matter. In every next step, checks are waiting like six foot hurdles. It gets to the point where even hobbies and interests cannot be pursued without paving a road with massive, looming dollar bill signs. 

When areas of our campus require money, they shun out many. Those that can’t afford the price tag abolish the idea of joining before considering alternatives. People are disuaded from their interests due to the large dollar sum attached.
All we see are the snazzy dance moves and the unbeatable stunts of our Spirit teams. But behind the scenes, there is much more than meets the eye. Cheer is estimated to cost $3,000 for all the attire, tournaments and flights. Though they do not have to repurchase the attire, the additional costs of competitions and travel continue to build through their high school career. Dance team has to pay for professional coaches as well. The list is endless and, frankly, too much for simply wanting to live your passion. 
It is almost like a filter: begin with all the passionate kids, rich or poor. Then the ones who cannot pay the fare reject the idea completely, even if the have the talent and skill. And you are left with the upper class. Though this filter is completely inadvertent and unintentional, does it justify the distinct wealth separation?
Walls of money can often obstruct the path towards fulfilling our goals and pursuing dreams. Cartoon by Anyssa Karnkaeng.
The filter’s result is a wealthy image. Because it is practically a necessity to have money to be on the team, there’s a trend of affluent people joining the team. Due to this outlandish price tag, Cheer, Dance and Song have slowly become associated with money and prosperity. 

But the truth is, it isn’t their fault. They never out right shout during tryouts: "You need money to be a member." This problem doesn’t lay in the team; it lays in an internal feeling amongst prospective members. When they think of Cheer, before thinking if they can do the moves or do the stunts, they think of the money.

The daunting dollar sum is attached to every competitor’s desire to join the team. Suppose a student wants to try out for the team. The cost kills the interest of prospective members due to the disheartening value and thus starts the cycle. 

But there shouldn’t be a cycle. So all those inspired, listen up: all the fluff and swag? It can be reduced. Not all outfits are mandatory. Buy them used. Take a hand-me-down and change the name. Ask for a scholarship. As a part of the culture of certain activites, fluff seems mandatory. But it isn’t. And when you take out the fluff, those who can’t afford it may start to  pursue it. 

And it is just as much a burden on the organizations. There is a responsibility to make sure it is emphasized that there are ways to work around the tight budgets and talent does come before cash. Money is not the only thing that matters.

For every goal that can’t be reached, change your mentality to change the system. Talent can open doors of opportunity. Don’t be discouraged—you don’t need a plump wallet to unlock all doors.