As the daughter of a financial investor, it is of no surprise that I began learning about the stock market and how to make various investments at a young age. The term “compounded interest” once came out of my mouth in the seventh grade as a friend was asking how she was going to save enough money to buy a shirt from Abercrombie. After staring at me dumbfounded for a few seconds, the girl concluded that she would ask her parents for the money, and offer to clean her room in return. This plan passed with flying colors and my classmate wore her cute new top to a birthday party the following weekend.
Of course, I was not the norm. However, now that my peers are in college, I expected to find more people who were interested and aware of the stock market and eager to learn how to work it. This expectation was largely disillusioned. Walking home from class today, I was on the phone with my father discussing the best move for my next trade, and a fellow student completely stopped walking to stand by me and ask if I was “seriously” investing in the stock market. She was shocked to see me nod my head, and quickly walked off, looking back at me over her shoulder.
You see, students are becoming more and more sheltered, me included. We all collectively look at our bank accounts and giggle at our lack of funds, however do very little to change what we see. Especially among girls, money is seen as something that will begin to show up once we get out in the “real world”. However, the real world is officially here, and many of us are exceedingly unprepared. We are viewed as children, too delicate to need to learn about investing, or saving. College is our job, and money is only our concern once we have graduated with some degree that will supposedly help us magically know what a ROTH fund is.
I don’t want to graduate college with a degree and no street smarts/ ability to save money beyond one week. I want to learn how to create a safety for myself before I am out on my own. However, in a world that sees college students as incapable children who solely focus on social lives and classes, I’m not sure how the world expects me or any of my generation to find our footing.