Feral007

How expensive are teenagers?

Wondering if this is a little rant about buying clothing for teenagers who like to wear brand name clothes?

 

Or maybe a larger rant about teenagers who like to use too many expensive electronic devices – smart phones?  iphones?  ipads?

i-anything else?

 

Perhaps a tired whinge about how teenagers seem to open the fridge or pantry doors and just inhale food?  How do they do that by the way?

 

No, none of that.

 

Earlier this week, I was having a little hissy fit over trying to find a pair of black flats for a teenager three days before the musical starts, and three days  before payday, in this town without all those shops where you can pick up those sorts of things for under $10.  And getting a weeks notice of a $55 dollar excursion next week (two days to pay and give permission, and it will be a 5am start on the day WTF?)

 

This morning as I sit with my daughter, having breakfast before she goes off to school, with my head full of trying to get some sleep today so I can work tonight, but remembering to pick up a pair of shoes from a friends place and drop them by the theatre (and hope they fit so they don’t fling off into the audience on opening night!) and this is what she says.

 

Mum, I just have to tell you this.  There’s an excursion for Ancient History, and it’s pretty expensive…………..It’s not till next year.  And I can save up some money for it……………..

 

We go to a public school.  With a lot of cash strapped parents.  Not all, but a goodly proportion.  Last year when the Sydney camp was $450 only a small proportion of kids went.  We ate a lot of sausages and mince, in honour of that camp.

 

It’s payday, and I’m playing bill lotto.  Working out which ones might hold over till next payday.  Even two parent working families are known to play that game.  Single parents do it a lot.  Winter:  wood, hay for horses, food for people, petrol to get to work.  All else is luxuries.

 

I know it’s the overseas trip.  I’ve heard about it;  I’ve never known what subject it was attached to;  I’ve always known we would never afford it.

 

It’s $6,000.  It’s not till next year though. Do you think we could save up for it.  I’ll be working……

 

I really  feel angry.  We go to a regular school.  Not a private school.   And yet the year 11 excursion will be overseas.  What is planned for the rest of the class who can’t afford this?  Classes as usual.  How exciting.  Some days I just wonder how some of the kids who can rarely ever go on these excursions don’t grow up with a chip on their shoulder.

 

We’ve had no information about this excursion, yet.  Should I be cynical and say it will probably appear the week before the flights have to be booked?

 

After saying that I don’t honestly believe there is anyway that we can come up with that sort of money in a year, and that she needs to keep school work as a focus, not trying to work all the hours in the day to afford an excursion, this is what she says.

 

If I save up, maybe I can go when I’m in year 12.

 

Probably she won’t be allowed to as it would interfere with her HSC.  But I’m not raining on her parade, when she’s trying to look on the bright side.

 

I could say – Since you’re planning atm to become a teacher, it’s possible that you’ll be able to afford it by the time you’ve got out of teaching college, and paid off your HECS debt.

 

How are other parents feeling knowing that there is no way they can afford it?  Or that if they can afford it, if they send one kid on an excursion, the rest of the family does without a nice holiday that year?  How expensive is your teenager?

 

Daughter loves Ancient History.  It’s just become my least favourite subject – and I don’t even know what it’s really about.

Maybe, if we could afford it, it wouldn’t annoy me as much.

 

I must admit, saying we can’t afford it, yet again gets on my nerves.  I’ve been overseas, and I’d be happy for my kids to want to travel (altho a bit nervous, of course) but why does overseas travel have to be a part of a course at high school?

Why is it not something that you can do in the whole rest of your life?

 

I’m sure that lots of people who have sent their kids on overseas school excursion will have loved to have that option.

 

Must admit, I’m seriously beginning to wonder……Due to the expense of public education……..instead of having Public/Private/Steiner/Montessori schools.  I’m wondering if there could be:

 

A No Frills Education Scheme.  Get the education.  No expensive items of uniform.  No frequent additions to school hours.  No excursions.

Come to school, learn, socialise.  Go home.  There could be outside holiday things like the YMCA run.  Family/just teens/just kids holidays.

Independent holidays.

Do your own sport on sports day.  Have a horse ride it.  Have a snowboard, ride it!

 

I’m just sick of all this.  I didn’t mind school when I was there.  I wasn’t hanging out for it all to be over.  I am now.

 

I want to save up and take all of us on a holiday to Bali or somewhere.  Enjoy ourselves.  Altogether.  During school time!  No holidays during term time?  Good enough for those going overseas at great expense, good enough for the rest of us who can’t afford it!

 

We live here in a fabulous part of the country.  Lots of school send their kids here for a great experience.  Can they not find something totally fabulous here, that our kids could enjoy?  Ancient History?  Our buildings may not be ancient, but the bluddy dirt is!

 

Honestly?  I’m not going to get over this one quickly.  It irks me on our own account.  But it irks me on the level that so many other kids and families must be feeling the same.  The camp last year?  A friend got quite angry when asked if he was going…………they can’t afford it.

 

Next time anyone is asking why kids don’t appreciate the cheaper things in life;  why kids these days expect to have everything;  why good, ordinary holidays are not good enough anymore for todays young people.

 

It’s because they learnt it while they were young.

 

We/ll survive.  We’ll have happy days.

 

But D@mn, this annoys me!  Just thought I’d mention that, in case you got this far and hadn’t noticed 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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