Going back to college apparently means being forced to be poor again.

My last job, working for the State of Vermont, paid me $13.71/hr for 40 hours a week. That sounds like a lot, until you do the math; that turns into about $28,000 a year, without benefits. In reality, that's a lot less than it seems; the same job working at a real company would have netted at least $35k.

Well, now I'm in school, so my options are limited. I can't reasonably work more than 20 hours a week, and even that's pushing things a little. But if my wage were unchanged, 20 hours a week would be fine; I can survive just fine at just over the poverty level.

But here's the thing. I can't find anything. The state keeps trying to re-hire me, but that's for full-time work, in a town that's about an hour away. The only options I've come up with are workstudy at the computer lab, which is work that I hate and was done with the last two times I did it. What's more, it would start me off at $7.80/hr. That's far less money for far more work, at least if I take the job at all seriously.

The cited reason that I can't make more in the lab is "seniority". Nevermind that I'm 24 now. Nevermind that I've got real-world experience. Nevermind that I've got references far superior to anything that these other "consultants" have, much less what they will have two years after they graduate. Seniority my ass. I've got better qualifications, and this is a freakin' college campus. Nobody has more than 3 years of seniority in the lab.