COVID-19

Even high schoolers are feeling economic uncertainty

Andie Corban May 4, 2020
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Vivienne Dragun, a student in Midland, Texas. "This is one of the biggest years of my life," she said. Courtesy of Vivienne Dragun
COVID-19

Even high schoolers are feeling economic uncertainty

Andie Corban May 4, 2020
Vivienne Dragun, a student in Midland, Texas. "This is one of the biggest years of my life," she said. Courtesy of Vivienne Dragun
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Vivienne Dragun, 18, is a high school senior in Midland, Texas. Even while social distancing and staying home, Dragun can feel a sense of anxiety in her hometown, where the economy is based almost entirely on oil.

“In 2008-2009, there was an oil bust here,” Dragun said. “I was only about 7 years old, but I remember how empty the town was and how there was very little traffic. I think that everyone here remembers the bust, and we’re all worried that it’s gonna happen again.”

Dragun is facing uncertainty in her personal life too.

“This is one of the biggest years of my life,” Dragun said. “I’m graduating high school, I’m moving out for college and I’m being an independent adult for the first time ever. Coronavirus is making me unsure if I’m going to do any of those things in 2020.”

Dragun planned on spending this summer saving money for college by working as a lifeguard in Midland. Her earnings were meant to cover things like going out with friends or buying new clothes.

“I’m a little unsure if I’ll actually have my job this summer,” Dragun said. “It would mean I have to either get a job at school or count on working next summer because this summer is going to be, hopefully, a big time for me to make a lot of the money I’m going to need in college.”

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