I’ve lived through enough adjunct summers to know that things get pretty difficult financially around late July. What little money you managed to scrape together during the school year is long gone, and you’re at least two rent cycles away from the next paycheck.
For adjuncts who aren’t lucky enough to score classes, the end of the summer can become a deeply stressful period of doing whatever it takes—borrowing, penny-pinching, scouring Craigslist for odd jobs—to keep the eviction notices at bay until the first paycheck of the new school year arrives.
My adjunct summer survival strategy consists mainly of selling my possessions—furniture, music, clothes. By the end of July, my apartment is significantly more roomy than it was at the beginning of the summer. Once the school year starts and the income returns, I restock what I’ve purged. It’s kind of like going to one of those payday lenders: a neverending cycle of borrowing and repaying, never earning enough to escape the pattern.
I’m also no stranger to the odd job. I’ve taken many a part-time gig to bridge the income gap between adjunct paychecks. I delivered pizzas for a few years during and after grad school, though I could never bring myself to deliver in the same town where I taught. The thought of ringing the doorbell of a current student was too much to bear. <Read more.>