Satire: Hustling without being troubling: trendy ways to pay for college
An advice column on strategies to earn money during college
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental
In today’s economic climate, there is simply no way to fund an education without some major miracles. Of course, seeking out loans and putting yourself in debt is one way to go, but you could also think outside the box. Thankfully, The Seagle is here to offer you a fulfilling, abundant and completely legal path to an affordable education.
To clarify: we aren’t suggesting you demean the people who do hard labor, keeping our restaurants, stores and other services running. That would just make you mean. But if you have fragile hands and an even more fragile spirit, learning how to work smarter instead of harder is vital.
You may ask: is there a limit to what I can achieve? If you are willing to exhaust all avenues and sacrifice your morals, the answer is no. The potential for wealth and luxury is limitless. Think big. Now think even bigger. You are Daedalus, master crafter of your future and your prosperity. All you should be worried about now is ensuring you don’t get trapped in a maze of your own creation.
Strategy #1: If you are a child of divorce, this is your time to capitalize. If not, I’ll go in length on how to destroy your parents’ marriage in another segment.
Children of divorce may already understand the game and benefits of having separated parents: double of everything. You just have to make sure their relationship stays hostile enough to keep them apart. Make them compete for your love and keep their coveted spot as the favorite parent. If you ever need funds for trips, events or therapy, you can collect double the amount of money – just lie and say you haven’t received anything from the other parent yet. This strategy may not pay for everything, but it should cushion you enough to have a better quality of life, allowing you to save your energy to get even richer.
If you’re uncomfortable being that emotionally manipulative, or questioning if you have what it takes to be a heartless baron in the future, you’ll just have to get comfortable with making some difficult choices. You can pay back the people you’ve seemingly wronged when you get rich.
Strategy #2: You have to find the right kind of man. It can’t just be anyone with money, because oftentimes his family employs so much legal jargon in the prenups you won’t get squat if things go south. In that case, it’s not even worth being with him in the first place. What you need is an independent man. Someone who’s self-sufficient and smart enough to have a stabilized income but lacks the emotional intelligence to pick up on your scheme.
Tech and stock boyfriends are the way to go: they’re nerds with no social skills. Idiot savants, if you will. Even if you have average looks, you have every ability to guide him right into a tightly locked tomb of love. He’ll usually be hiding out in places such as the American University game center in the Don Myers building, or the weird stocks computer room in the basement of Kogod. Just feign some sort of helplessness, and he’ll spend so much time and energy trying to prove to you that he’s impressive that he’ll inevitably want more of your validation. Always start with small doses of affection and praise, though. Don’t jump the gun with too much from the get-go. All you’ll be doing is exhausting your own energy.
Whatever happens, remember that the goal is to get him to funnel his money into you and abandon his plan of pretending to be some “effective altruist.” You both know that would never work out; he would have probably villainized himself inadvertently in the public eye anyway. He’s a man, after all. Although you’re going to have him wrapped around your finger because he’s been deprived of romantic and sexual partners in high school, you have to pretend that you don’t know or care about any of this background. The egotistical venture capitalist man who invests in crypto has a very big ego and he cannot stand the thought of having his authentic self exposed. Make him seem like he's the cool guy by “winning you over.” In reality, you know you’re the sole victor in your own game.
He’s not going to have fun with his money like you are anyway; he’s only using it to fill the endless void of an ego. Giving his money to you actually gives you the opportunity to make net positive changes in the community around you. Stop him from making weird tax sheltering charities under the guise of selflessness. Try to get him out of the house; make him buy you a boat so he can get some sun and fresh ocean breeze while you sail to the Caribbean.
When you feel like he wants to take things to the next level, tread carefully. The last thing you want is too much of a committed relationship. The trick is knowing when to bail; once you believe you’ve received enough money to pay for a luxurious life and education, tell him you found someone new, and that someone lives across the world. This way he won't be able to realistically hunt your fake lover down, and he will be so heartbroken with betrayal that he’ll abandon any thought of pursuing you.
This level of psychological warfare is certainly audacious, even more outrageous than the common crying-white-woman manipulator. But if you have the spirit, then this guide will take you far.
Good luck, and happy spending!
Jasmine Shi is a freshman in the School of Communication and a satire columnist at The Eagle. This article was edited by Nora Sullivan, Alexis Bernstein and Nina Heller. Copy editing by Isabelle Kravis, Sarah Clayton and Leta Lattin.