Combat Zone

‘Broke’ student can’t stop posting pictures of summer-long vacation in Europe

Postalot models her favorite pose, the “humble girl with a secret,” which she brought out in posts such as Oct. 9, captioned: “Missing Greece more than ever today!” — Photo courtesy of Pxhere

Students have returned from fall break with a skip in their step. Many claim that there’s nothing better than the chant of the football team in the distance, the sound of leaves crackling underfoot and the smell of unacknowledged wealth inequality in the air. First-year Tammy Smith came to The Flail wanting to share her narrative on the latter.

Smith was in her statistics class when she heard junior Caley Postalot complaining about the prices of her textbooks. “I can’t believe I had to spend $500 on these books. It’s so unfair! You know, we’re all just broke college students,” Postalot said. Classmates saw Smith’s jaw clench at this comment.

Smith spent her summer working hard as a lifeguard at an Orange County country club. This job provided her with one La Croix per shift and a minimum of five hours to scroll through Instagram.

“All I saw was Caley on the shore of Normandy. Caley sitting next to ancient architecture. Caley with her croissant and the caption ‘oops.’ Caley and that French puppy. Caley and the Norwegian boy. I’m over it. Some of us are actually broke,” Smith said.

Smith went on to explain that Postalot has Instagrammed a “take me back” picture once a week despite it being three months into the school year.

The Flail reached out to Postalot’s friend, junior Josie Johnson, to see how she feels when students use the phrase “broke college students.”

“It’s never good to assume someone’s financial status,” Johnson said. “Last year my parents were going through an economic rut and I had to stop getting plant-based milks in my lattes and go back to cow milk. This was really bad because I’m lactose intolerant. The light stomach pain was unbearable.”

The problem with wealthy students claiming to be broke is not only a social issue at Puget Sound but it has caused a slew of medical emergencies. First-year John Thomson got whiplash from turning around so fast when he heard a classmate chuckle at being a “broke college kid.”

“My whiplash-induced medical expenses are nothing compared to my anger,” Thomson said. “I didn’t pay $92 for each of my 15 AP tests, $2,000 for SAT prep, $50 for each SAT, $7,000 on plane tickets for college tours and $800 on college application fees to end up at a school where some students won’t acknowledge their wealth.”

Another student, sophomore Ellie Guggenheim, made a joke about being a broke student in class and her nose started to grow at an exponential rate. “At first I was stunned and upset, but I’ve been wanting a nose job for a while so it actually presented a wonderful opportunity. You know, everything happens for a reason,” she said.

Smith believes it is crucial that the majority of Puget Sound students acknowledge their wealth and stop claiming to be broke. “Some of us can only afford to shop at the Metropolitan Market twice a week, some of us grew up in the suburbs of San Francisco instead of in San Francisco and some of our families had to trade our ferraris for Teslas,” Smith said as she posted a picture of her $950 custom monogrammed planner. “I always say, ‘Don’t judge someone until you walk from their home movie theater to their fourth floor in their Louis Vuitton leather heels. But I feel like Caley’s Instagram allowed me to do just that, so I feel justified in my anger toward her.”