Rising gas prices affect students

Mackenzie Lawrence, Staff Writer

Young drivers at Stephen Decatur High School are feeling the impact of rising gas prices. Lack of income, combined with daily travels to and from school, raises the question: will they be able to keep up with gas prices while working part-time minimum wage jobs?

Many students don’t have enough time during the school year to have a job, due to the length of the school day and the amount of homework they are assigned daily. This makes it hard for some to pay for gas, as the prices have been increasing significantly this year.

Senior James Barrett spends $75 to fill up his tank every week and a half. He tends to wait to fill up his tank until it is almost empty, so he doesn’t have to get gas as frequently.

“It makes me feel like I’m losing a lot more money than I should be by purchasing something basic like transportation,” he said.

Barrett describes paying for gas as, “not really hard, but it’s not easy,” adding, “It sucks. I don’t enjoy going to fill up my tank.”

Due to the price of gas being so high, Barrett’s parents tend to give him money for gas every once in awhile to help out, since he only has a summer job.

Jordan Wingert, a junior here at Decatur, searched for a car that had good gas mileage for around eight months. He was so focused on the price of gas that he didn’t care what type of car he was getting – he just cared about having good gas mileage.

“With the increasing gas prices, I do stress about getting gas because since getting my car, it went from $35 to fill up my tank to $43,” said Wingert, who has only had his car for three weeks. “I’ve been cautious on driving. Not driving for fun, just driving when I need to.”

Dylan Mandley, a junior, spends $130 to fill up his truck. He fills his tank two to three times a week. He said he wants to save his money from working, but can’t, because he spends a majority of it on gas. He has started to ask people he drives around to contribute on gas money.

“It is pretty difficult trying to fill up my tank, because I want to save,” Mandley said.

This is not only affecting Decatur students, it is also impacting teachers. Dj Thompson, communication arts and yearbook teacher, pays $60 to $70 to fill up his tank. Thompson has learned to restrict his travel in order to keep up with the increase of gas prices.

“The population has grown, so the need for gas and oil has increased, and there’s also a lot of politics involved as well,” he said. “People don’t always realize about where we get our oil and where we get our gas.”

Thompson remembered how gas cost 99 cents when he was growing up and now, due to inflation, prices have increased significantly.

“You have to find a way and find the means,” he said, referring to how hard it is to pay for gas in times like these.

Gas prices are rising significantly every day due to availability and the events occurring between Russia and Ukraine.

In this past week, Russia has invaded Ukraine and people all over the United States are going to feel an affect. Russia is the second biggest oil producer in the world so them being at war is going to impact everyone a major amount when it comes to oil and gas prices.