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Lean on Me

Monday, May. 12, 2014

The first 20 student comments on “Lean on Me” win a $5 Yiftee gift to a local business. Use your gift to try out that new flavor of ice cream or spend it on two slices of your favorite pizza. Entries must be received by midnight, Sunday, May 25th, 2014. Subscribe to the blog (by RSS or by e-mail in the right hand column) for updates.

**DISCLAIMER: All characters and scenarios in this post are fictional.**

Patrick is a sophomore at a large university in Washington. He’s from Arizona, so he is paying out of state tuition. Patrick is fortunate that his parents are able to pay for his college tuition and apartment rent. However, Patrick had to find a way to pay for other essentials like food, textbooks, and any entertainment. As a result, he attained two jobs: peer tutoring and working at the on-campus Jamba Juice.

One day during sophomore year, Patrick finds out that his best friend from high school, Jordan, is going through rough times back in Arizona. Jordan lost his basketball scholarship at his university because he was caught doing drugs. As a result, he wasn’t able to continue paying tuition and had to drop out. In addition, his single mother can no longer afford to support him.

Patrick convinces Jordan to come out to Washington, so he can get away from his recent past and get onto a new track. Jordan crashes on Patrick’s couch for a couple of weeks. He has no money and no job, so Patrick begins to support him until he can get back onto his feet. He works longer hours and is busy all the time because of his two jobs and academics.

Patrick talks to Jordan about getting a job. After a month, Jordan is able to get employed at a local restaurant. However, Jordan isn’t given many hours so he isn’t able to pay for many living expenses. Patrick tells Jordan to try and find another job, but it always seems like he is just hanging out while Patrick is at work or school, instead of actively looking.

Patrick doesn’t know what to do. Jordan is his longtime best friend. However, Patrick knows he won’t be able to sustain his financial support for Jordan. What should Patrick do? What is best for Jordan’s future? Patrick’s? Is there a way Patrick can help Jordan get back on track, or is it up to Jordan now to figure it out? Is there something Patrick could have done earlier to avoid this situation entirely?

Useful Resources:

A Framework for Ethical Decision-Making

How to Help Loved Ones in a Financial Crisis

Mooching friends -- how to deal with them

Photo by Amy available under a Creative Commons license.

Comments Comments

Dan said on May 12, 2014
I think Patrick could have easily avoided this whole situation by finding time to go home to visit his friend. That way he wouldn't have to worry about supporting his friend because he would be back at home and would eventually have to go back to school. However, because Jordan is on his couch and is already out at school I think Patrick needs to try and help motivate Jordan. Patrick should help Jordan find a job by maybe talking to the Jamba Juice manager to see if they could hire him. - Like - 1 person likes this.
Justin D. Fitzsimmons said on May 17, 2014
Patrick is a good friend for sacrificing so much for Jordan, a fact that Patrick should make clear to Jordan. Jordan was in a tough place and is still probably working through his problems. However, a good way to do that is to take more control of his life. Finding another job and becoming financially independent will aid Jordan. Patrick has to make it clear to Jordan that Jordan will have to work towards financial independence. Patrick did convince Jordan to come out to Washington, but control of Jordan's life is only up to him. Just based on financials, Jordan will have to move out if he cannot take control of his life. - Like
K said on May 24, 2014
Patrick was doing what a good friend should do - trying to help his friend start over after a tough time. Patrick should also realize that feeding his friend for a day is not going to benfit him in the long run. He needs to have a serious sitdown with his friend and tell him that he can't stay unless he pays. Yes, this might lead him back to drugs but Patrick can't actually help him if he is babying. Jordan needs to hear the bitter truth. - Like
Skyelynn Stack said on Jul 7, 2014
Patrick seems like a great friend but it seems like Jordan maybe taking advanage of a good thing. Laying on the couch, watching your friend go off to work is not the ideal situation, Patrick, thought he would be in. It's a fact, the hours you would be at work should be the hours you use for finding a job. Yes, people get in a drought, especially after losing a job, but at the same side, is it fair for a friend to be busting his butt and the other friend not trying as hard as he should be? Jordan need a reality check. - Like
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Tags: athletes, clingy, college, college students, cost, decisions, ethics, etiquette, exploited, friendship, independence, job market, job search, responsibility, roommate, Unselfish