When I first got to Yale, joining extracurriculars made me feel guilty. I thought that if I was going to be dedicating time to things outside of academics, it should be to a job. So second semester I dropped one group and took on a job at the library instead. The student income contribution creates this pressure to make money at the expense of my interests and career goals. By the next semester I was working three jobs and had consciously decided not to take on any leadership positions because of the fear of being spread too thin. This summer I am limited to opportunities that pay. It has been incredibly difficult to navigate job searches during this time, knowing that there are jobs available but at the risk of my family and myself. The student income contribution greatly alters my Yale experience. I want to be working for myself, in terms of earning and saving money while doing what is best for me and my goals, but instead I am working for Yale.

Kai Alexis, she/her, 2022, Berkeley