Sophomore shares his government shutdown experience


Courtesy of Esteban Rocha

Esteban Rocha is one of the many federal employees’ children affected by the government shutdown.

By Zoe Alvarez , Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts

Esteban Rocha is one of the many children of federal employees who are being affected by the shutdown. He is a sophomore VMT creative writing student.

Like many others, he did not anticipate the length of this government shutdown; he assumed it would last a couple of days. Little did he know it would last over a month.

“I thought it would go away after a few days, maybe even a week,” he said.

His life has been affected by the shutdown financially, such as what expenditures he used to have throughout the day.

“Our daily expenses for sure,” he said.

Esteban and his family have saved money by cutting the costs of fast food.

“(We’ve been) cutting down on unnecessary purchases like fast food or other things,” he said.

They also cut costs by not spending money on items bought for the enjoyment, he said. He stopped purchasing his iTunes cards that he would purchase frequently and his mother stopped purchasing her nice earrings she would purchase every other week.

“We stopped spending money on things that we would buy for pleasure,” he said.

Like many of the federal employees’ children affected by the shutdown, Esteban cannot do much at home to help; his hands are tied.

“There isn’t much I can do to help at home,” he said.

If the shutdown continues its path Esteban will have to take on a job to help his parents.

“I will be working in a few months to help out my family if it’s still going on,” he said.

This government shutdown has changed his perspective on the government for the worse he said. It helped him realize the reality and stupidity of the situation especially when it comes to the president.

He said the president is prioritizing his wall over the nation’s federal employees.

“It made me more aware of how much of a complete moron our president is; putting the payment of a wall that literally nobody asked for in front of 800,000 government workers who are currently not getting paid,” he said.

There isn’t much I can do to help at home.”

— Esteban Rocha

Esteban fears that this shutdown may, in fact, last years at the rate it’s going. The effects of this shutdown would harm his father’s plans for retirement.

“It would really affect us because my dad was about to retire and he was going to rely on his savings,” he said.

He also has a great concern about the lack of money he and many others will not have.

“I worry about myself and other people not having money in a certain future,” he said.

I worry about myself and other people not having money in a certain future.”

— Esteban Rocha

His birthday and his mother’s are coming soon which leaves him wondering whether or not he and his mother will be able to celebrate.

“I also fear that this is not going to go away before my mother and my birthday,” he said.

Personally, Esteban believes this government shutdown will last a few more weeks, though he has no doubt that the president can make it last longer.

“Trump is crazy enough to make it last years,” he said.

Constant news coverage makes Esteban feel anxious instead of informed.

“The news updates make me feel worse because every day it’s just ‘shutdown still going on,” he said. “I hope that will change.”

The news updates make me feel worse because every day it’s just ‘shutdown still going on’.”

— Esteban Rocha

Esteban has heard a few myths about this government shutdown, he said. One myth he learned about Trump planning this shutdown before he was elected as president. He finds that with the president’s reputation, this myth isn’t all out there.

“I honestly don’t think that’s too farfetched to believe,” he said.

This story was originally published on The Magnet Tribune on January 24, 2019.