Life in the “middle class”

By Elissa Sanci

I’ll never forget the day I came home to find our electricity had been turned off. There hadn’t been a storm, no big gusts of wind that could’ve caused the outage. This wasn’t a side effect of Mother Nature, but rather, a side effect of my single mother’s struggles to keep our family afloat.

I’ll never forget that day, not because it was an anomaly, but because it set the precedent for the following years. Although my mom made enough to categorize us as middle class, it was not unusual to come home to a darkened house.

Looks can be deceiving. My life seems normal enough; I don’t appear to be struggling financially. I have expensive gadgets and nice clothes. I attend a private university. These are the things I wear as identifiers, the things others use to fit me into a class in which they think I belong.

But on closer inspection, the flaws that were once overlooked become glaringly obvious. I saved birthday money for three years to afford my Macbook Pro, and I pray each time I use it that it’ll start because I don’t have the money for repairs, or—God forbid—a new one. My clothes come from the discounted racks in the back corner of Old Navy, and I purchased what doesn’t with gift cards. I sit atop a mountain of debt, debt that my debt has accumulated, debt that I don’t know how I’m ever going to pay back.

Looks can be deceiving.

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