Money will eventually come, if you stop thinking about it that much. I know that most educated Arabs in the States will attest to my position that Education should be the #1 priority to any Arab staying in the States, or anywhere for that matter. Why? What ever motivates you is reachable through education. Money? Educated people get paid more, make better decisions and are better business negotiators. Status? Not just through money, imagine having the title Dr., engineer, lawyer, or what ever your passion is. Money AND status are results of education. Self-fulfillment? It takes a lot to be educated. The challenges, long nights studying, and the constant motivation of achieving something all are reasons to feel proud and self-fulfilled. And the list goes on for the by-products of being educated.
Now, the actual process of getting there isn’t easier or harder than it is in Jordan. It’s different. While in Jordan you had “wasta” and living expenses are partially or fully paid by parents, in the U.S. you might have to work odd hours, and eat spam three times a day to put yourself though school. But, at the same time, you have the freedom of picking whatever major suits you, enroll in as many, or as little, courses as you would like, and have the luxury of skipping a semester to catch up on bills, take on an internship in another state or country, or just kick back. I know I am making it sound a lot better in the U.S. But, every milestone reached is very much well worth it.
However, and that’s why I am trying to pass on my experience to Arabs in the States, it is possible to make a student’s life easier. Well, there is a wonderful thing called financial aid. Oh god how helpful FA is. Since you are a starving student, and since if you do not apply for it someone else will, FA is a great way to put self through college. I am glad Americans DO NOT appreciate this system as it should be appreciated, more money for the rest of us. I understand some Arabs won’t need FA because…their families are loaded, their employer is paying for it, they make good money already, or they may have earned a scholarship. But, for the rest of us who can’t pay for it, we need it.
Another point about getting educated is to do it as early in your life as possible. With age, the desire to learn and the abilities to absorb information and to be creative and innovative erode. So the earlier a degree is attained the more money you make, the higher status you achieve, and the better you feel about yourself.
To be continued…