As it goes every year, American folk rekindle with their families on the fourth Thursday of November for a meal to say ‘thanks’ for the blessing of the harvest i.e. eat twice their body weight in turkey with all the trimmings.

Following the occasion, shops thrust their consumerist junk at us with ‘special discounts’ despite that, with price reduction, their worth is still a lot less than the price-tag. ‘Black Friday’ as it is called, marks this day of anti-gratitude, anti-blessing, anti-Thanksgiving.

Apparently, the day exists as the first day of the Christmas shopping season. Can I just emphasise the word season, that there is still plenty of time for shoppers to dwell and lurk through bundles of clothes and shoes to fulfil their Christmas lists? Modern Christmas has lost its traditional roots and is solely a time to display the grandiose of capitalism, but with the occasional Mariah Carey tune to make things seem more festive and family-friendly.

As a student, you would assume receiving the tens to hundreds of emails come through from companies (who I am sure I never even subscribed to) who market their ‘black deals’ and ‘exciting reductions’ would make today actually feel like Christmas. You are so very wrong if you thought so.

A student’s financial situation is more corrupt and damaged than some of the current affairs you see on the news. While tuition fees are already at their highest, so are rent rates and basic necessities hit by inflation. My student loan doesn’t even cover my rent, I am permanently in the depths of my overdraft as a result, and I have applied for too many part-time jobs with too little responses i.e. zero. The idea of the maintenance loan is so that students also receive financial aid from parents or guardians. This is not always the case.

Personally, I believe the bankers and those in authority who control the budget presume ‘daddy’ will always bail out their child when in serious hardship.

Sorry pal, but we are not all middle class.

Not all of our parents work, if that’s to say we do have parents.

Throwing on top a series of marketing spew highlighting the perks of Black Friday doesn’t necessarily make a student feel more compelled to spend money. My priority isn’t to buy the latest brands because they’re on discount, but it is deciding whether I have enough money left to eat for the rest of term.

Of course, many students LOVE Black Friday, and perhaps they have been putting money aside so they can buy items today. And perhaps these items are Christmas presents for family, friends, or significant others. I can’t generalise my thoughts to every student.

What I can generalise though, is the ever-expanding disparity between the rich and the poor. There’s always going to be many, many people richer than I, but let’s at least make things fairer.

And let’s be grateful for what we do have. Okay, I may be a broke b*tch, but I am studying at university which not everyone has the opportunity to do, and I have a loving family who I don’t have to travel far to see. That is what we must remember not only during Thanksgiving, but during the festive season too.

Oh, and did all these companies really think I’d be abandoning the lull of the library during the busiest time of the year for assignments, just to buy something I don’t even need? Well, anything does distract me from doing work after all.

 

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