My mother is f*cking poor - Letter from a student

Monday, April 23, 2012


To all those who accuse students of being “spoiled”; you’re partly right. Partly, because it’s true that those who can access higher education must have certain privileges that others don’t. But these “spoiled” students are fighting so that those who don’t share their privilege can have access to the same social standing that they do.

For years now, I’ve been living on welfare because of medical issues that keep me from working. I’m trying to get my life back in order, so this past year I went back to school. I don’t have a family supporting me, so let me tell you, I’ve really had to struggle to stay in school. I have to fight the government to get financial aid; I was recently so desperate I had to ask my friends for loans – and I’m lucky enough to have friends who had the means to help me, otherwise I would’ve been back in my old slump pretty fast. The future of my studies is fairly uncertain, but I will continue to struggle and I hope to one day have a university degree in healthcare so I can help people struggling with health issues.

So yes, many students are “spoiled.” I was shocked to learn that the leaders of the student movement all attended private schools, for example. Yet they’re fighting for people like me and for others who are in even more difficult situations than I can imagine, others who are trying to overcome their difficulties and integrate into society so they will no longer be judged. If you have a problem with that, well it’s partly because of people like you that there are so many “welfare bums,” so many dysfunctional people, so many people dependent on the system. University has given me a strength I never thought was possible, a strength that has allowed me to integrate into society. Going to school has helped me break my social isolation and has pushed me towards big new projects, has given me the tools to make these projects a reality. How can someone be against that? Access to education should be for everyone, not just for the “spoiled.”


Michèle Martin

Student at Concordia University