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    Students struggle to figure out their next step as the economy crumbles underneath them

    The stock market is tanking, gas prices are rising steadily, and inflation is increasing rapidly. It’s clear that the United States economy, and the economy globally, is suffering. While experts and politicians battle these economic troubles, there is often a struggling population that gets overlooked — students and their families.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 43% of full-time and 81% of part-time college students work. It’s no surprise that the people that are going to be most affected by the rapidly declining economy is you, the reader. A student, or parent, or just a community member.


    “Inflation is going to affect a young family way more adversely than, say, somebody who’s retired and has their house paid off” says wealth advisor Austin Cunningham.

    Austin Cunningham

    A number of students are starting to see these issues impact their everyday life and spending. They are afraid they might lose their jobs, get their hours cut, and be unable to afford essential items like food and gas.

    This looks more direr when analyzing the socio-economic standings of students and their families. In 2019, there were nearly 12 million students that lived in poverty. That’s 1 in every 7 kids who live below the poverty line, many of whom financially support their families by taking on jobs after school.

    One freshman at PRHS who wishes to stay anonymous spoke out about his concerns and what advice he has for other students on campus that might be struggling.

    “A positive attitude is extremely important. If you look down on yourself while you are doing your job or working its extremely harmful to you and the way you work”

    A positive attitude is extremely important. If you look down on yourself while you are doing your job or working its extremely harmful to you and the way you work”


    This anonymous student also advised students that time management is one of the most important aspects of balancing school, work, and extra curriculars.

    “Better time management, even if you have a lot of obstacles or things during your day. Good time management is so much better than not managing at all or trying to do everything at once.”

    There is so much uncertainty in these times, and people are scared of what a recession could mean for themselves and their families. According to CNBC, 20% of Americans are starting to hoard cash in their home out of fear of an upcoming recession.

    However, even though the economy seems like it’s in massive decline, there’s much that students can take advantage of in these times.

    Senior Sydni Carr serving ice cream at Negranti Creamery in downtown Paso.
    Senior Emily Rodgers working at the General Store in downtown Paso.

    “Uncertainty breeds opportunity… There’s so much opportunity for students to work while going to school or students that are just finishing up school. That if you get into a job, and you work your butt off… I guarantee you will be noticed.”

    Austin Cunningham
    Wealth Advisor

    Cunningham says that, even in financially difficult times, there are steps that everyone, including students, can take to mitigate long-term damage, and even benefit from any economic situation. He explains that it can be very easy for students to give up during difficult economic situations, but if you are able to put your nose to the grindstone and get noticed by putting in the work, you can come out of anything better than when you started, including a recession.

    The reality of the situation…

    Things don’t look like they’ll get better any time soon. We are creeping closer and closer to an economic collapse similar to that of the housing crash in 2009, and President Joe Biden and his Press Secretary Jen Psaki both say that gas prices will continue to rise. What’s clear is that experts like Cunningham and students at PRHS are showing that even in the face of adversity, there is still so much opportunity, especially for the future generation.

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