When teens are preparing to go to college or trade school, one of the primary concerns is often how they will pay for their education and if there are scholarships available.
Having someone who can help support your endeavors certainly can take some weight off your shoulders.
But having this privilege isn’t necessarily something you communicate to your friends, advised the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Bananascience97 recently discovered this when she shared some information about how she was planning to go to university with her best friend.
After seeing her friend’s reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she overshared.
She asked the sub:
“AITA because I told my best friend she can’t be mad at me for financial decisions my parents made?”
The OP and her friend were discussing college plans.
“So I (17 [female]) have been best friends with ‘Kayla’ (17 [female]) for about 2 years.”
“We were casually having a discussion about post-secondary education and plans when she mentioned she would like to be a veterinarian but doesn’t know how she will pay for university.”
“I was surprised and asked if her parents had put aside money.”
“For context, in Canada where I live, parents can contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) where the government will match your contribution up to $7500 or more based on income.”
“She said no, her parents didn’t do that.”
The OP may have shared too much.
“She then asked how much my parents have for my education.”
“I said about $75,000. My parents started saving when they found out my mom was pregnant.”
“She then started saying I was spoiled and that I shouldn’t flaunt my parents’ wealth.”
“(My parents are not wealthy in the slightest but have made good financial decisions.)”
The OP and Kayla didn’t see eye-to-eye.
“I was getting the impression that Kayla was jealous, which is understandable.”
“She was getting upset and mentioned other times my parents ‘spoiled’ me.”
“I do realize I am privileged to have parents who set aside money.”
“But I told her she can’t get mad at me because of choices my parents made when I wasn’t even born.”
“AITA because I said that?”
“Kayla seems to think I am.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was NTA but she needed to be more sensitive in the future.
“NAH, this is just a case of you not seeing the privileged situation you were in. And having privilege does not make you an AH. Just know moving forward that your financial situation is better than a lot of your peers and you need to be sensitive to that fact.” – FabricHound
“You never ever discuss finances with people. Especially when you have money. People will hate you for it and they usually try to get money out of you.”
“So ok, you could say they saved for your education but you should have said you don’t know how much. Let this be a lesson to you.” – Defan3
“I’m from the US, where often, ‘I’m not wealthy, I made good financial decisions’ is code for ‘I’m wealthy because I or my family profited from an unfair system, and I want to blame your poverty on your own moral failings instead of structural inequalities,’ so that sentence alone raises my hackles a little, but maybe it’s different where you are.”
“Anyway, at your age, it’s neither of your faults. She asked how much your parents had saved for your college, so answering isn’t flaunting.”
“NTA, but I would still caution you to be sensitive toward people who have less than you, if that’s not something you’re already aware of, because it can be a sore spot and often happens for reasons beyond the control of the person you’re talking to (like in this case, where your friend couldn’t control her parents’ financial decisions either.)” – Broad_Journalist2264
Others said the OP was absolutely TA for not recognizing her privilege.
“ESH. You weren’t an a**hole for answering the question, but you’re a bit of an a**hole for thinking that having a fluid account with $75,000 set aside specifically for your education doesn’t make your family wealthy.”
“This is not something the average family is able to do, and you are implying that that is their fault for not making smart choices. Most people do t have those choices to make. She wasn’t upset at you for having wealth, she’s upset that you are blinded to it.” – killingmequickly
“YTA. I am Canadian too and it isn’t normal to have $75,000 saved for your education. You are extremely privileged.”
“The program you mentioned was not always in place (and I believe isn’t in place anymore). You being surprised that other people’s parents haven’t saved money for their education is ignorant as can be.”
“You saying your parents made good financial decisions makes it seem like you are completely ignorant of how well-off you are. Kayla’s parents might have made amazing financial decisions and yet been unable to save.”
“I make good financial decisions and that means that we don’t go in debt to eat and we have a roof over our heads. I put aside money in an RESP and haven’t saved enough for one semester of college. You cannot save money you do not have. Have you looked at the cost of housing in Canada?”
“Stop making it seem like your parents were just smart and that anyone can save $75,000 in 17 years. That isn’t the case.”
“You shouldn’t be surprised when others have less than you because you have a lot more than others. You made Kayla feel bad because you looked down upon her parents (and her by extension) and were frankly quite condescending and rude.”
“Replace college fund with a beach house or some other luxury and you can see how rude it comes across. Like OMG I can’t believe you don’t have a beach house! If only your parents were smarter with money.” – MiserableProperty
Some said NAH, though the situation was definitely hard.
“NAH. You learned a good lesson at a young age. Do not discuss specifics about money or future prospects with friends. Especially when you know you have much more than the friend you’re speaking with.”
“It probably did come off sounding like bragging whether you meant it to or not. She obviously took it that way and her reaction was based on jealousy, but she isn’t the AH here. I don’t think you were trying to brag, so you’re not either.”
“Don’t ever forget this lesson because this kind of situation will definitely come up again and if you go into specifics again despite this situation and what you’ve learned from it, you will definitely be a jerk.” – StewoftheShoe
“It’s not fair or good but she likely was taking out her anger about her parents not doing the same then. She likely thought it would be the same for you, and when realizing she could have had the same help, got upset.”
“I don’t know her situation but when my mom was with my stepdad, he had a middle-class job and we lived in a nice house. He also didn’t want to pay for our schooling, and in later stages, our food and possibly utilities.”
“So my mom had to work low-paying jobs to pay for our stuff and I actually ended up unable to do things my friend, whose family made less than ours, did. It sucked but we both didn’t take jealousy out on each other.”
“They for whatever reason didn’t help her any, and now seeing someone who has a similar home life get the help and realize her parents probably could’ve done the same is likely upsetting. And she needs to learn to handle it herself and direct any upset at her parents for their choice, not toward you because you were fortunate your parents wanted to make sure you didn’t struggle” – Worried-Good-7952
“Give yourself and her some time to calm down if there’s still a lot of tension. Having a discussion and apologizing will be more productive when you’re both calm. You should apologize for bringing up such a sensitive topic, it was naive to think everyone had parents who could or would save up for their children’s education.”
“Being a bit naive is to be expected when you’re 17 btw (by the way), so don’t take people telling you that too hard, just use it as a learning experience and grow from it.”
“Don’t apologize for defending yourself when she started to take her feelings out on you though, that was uncalled for on her side.”
“Her apologizing too would be the mature thing to do (but it might restart the fight if you ask for an apology while tensions are high. I would hope that she apologizes without you prompting her though).”
“I hope you’re able to make up with your friend.” – katelli
Though the OP didn’t think she was wrong for answering her friend honestly, the subReddit was divided.
Sure, honesty is the best policy, but answering the question a little more vaguely, and simply saying she thought her parents had saved some money, might have been the better choice. Money has a way of ruining relationships, and not just romantic ones.
Hopefully, their friendship survives this conversation and straight through the college years.