This summer, I am doing an internship with a local charter school network; it was supposed to have been a paid internship, but now with the pandemic and economic downturn, it is unpaid. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a fellowship for a separate research project that I am doing, but it is not nearly the amount that I would have gotten had the internship been paid. I considered using the DSA, but thought it would be better to save it for my junior year to pay for room and board should I choose to do an internship away from home then. I know I am in a similar boat as many of my peers, and it’s frustrating knowing that future costs are hindering current opportunities, and that for some people who did use the DSA, their future opportunities may be limited. My freshman year, I worked a job from August through May so that my parents wouldn’t have to worry about paying for books, supplies, or any other miscellaneous costs, but I wasn’t able to save much because it seemed like each week there were unexpected expenses. While I know I gained useful skills from my job, I really do wish I was able to have spent my time doing other things like exploring more extracurriculars, building relationships with my peers, or even spent more time taking care of my health with sleep and exercise. By eliminating the SIC, students including myself would have more freedom to save up for summer opportunities, which is especially critical now that many have used their DSA this summer because of COVID.
Katherine Matsukawa, she/her/hers, 2023, BK