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The Courage to Be Poor


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One week from the completion of school and I’m in the all-too-familiar position of figuring out just how I’m going to support myself from now on. Coming out of an accelerated year of school at a private arts institution, I actually have, for the first time ever, debt in the form of a student loan. Not working is not an option.

A fairly terrifying position to be in, I’m deciding just how to start my career and make money at the same time. This dilemma I’m afraid is all too relevant especially in the fashion industry.

Before starting fashion school, I gave myself numerous options for jobs in different industries in the unfortunate scenario that I could not find work. That way I would always have something to fall back on. Now that I’ve come this far how could I choose one of my fallback options? I already moved to Vancouver, put myself in debt and made the choice to go for it. So what comes next?

What comes now is the courage to be poor.

Don’t choose your options based entirely on money. Choose happiness over money because, simply put, it’s more sustainable. Have the courage to wait for, fight for, and then continue to wait for the job of your dreams or at least the job that will get you closer to your dream job. We can’t settle. Forty years down the road I’d rather be happy than rich. I believe in choosing something I love and the money will come later.

Better budgeting and improved money management are always options as well. For those of us fresh out of school we have to go out less, spend less, need slightly less.

You have the courage to be poor; chances are you already have been. Just hang in there a little bit longer and your dreams will become reality.

Brittany Morrow, JCI Fashion Grad

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