How a Kentucky teen is balancing work and her first year of college
Share Now on:
“My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.
After graduating from high school, Aneesha Edwards started a job in retail in Lexington, Kentucky. Now, she’s relocated and is starting her second semester of college in Louisville, where she also works part time as a pharmacy technician.
“Between work, school and extracurriculars, it’s quite a bit,” Edwards said. “But I think I can get through it.”
She has a full tuition scholarship but expects to go into about $10,000 of debt every year she’s in school because of housing costs, her required meal plan, textbooks and more.
“I’m honestly used to living off of credit cards,” she said. “But it does kind of hurt to not be able to spend my own money like I used to before I started college. It’s just me getting more into debt, and then trying to get out of it just a little bit so I don’t get in trouble. And then getting into more debt whenever I have to buy something else.”
Edwards has been working consistently since she turned 16. Her job as a pharmacy technician is the first she can imagine herself staying in long-term.
“They just raised our wages, which I’m superexcited about,” she said. “I get to learn at my job, and I feel like that’s most important for me personally.”
Unlike in her previous work in retail and food service, Edwards feels she’s getting more out of her job than just a paycheck. She’s learned about different medications and dealing with health insurance providers for the first time. She also appreciates the job’s flexibility as she adjusts to her new schedule this semester. She said she sees evidence that we’re in a “workers’ economy.”
“If a job isn’t treating you right, it’s OK to leave and find another job because jobs desperately need people to work them,” Edwards said. “I can’t see that changing any time soon until our economy, our society, starts treating workers better and how they should be treated.”
Let us know how your economy is doing using the form below, and your story may be featured on a future edition of “My Economy.”
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.