Oh, I guess we’re talking more generally. As I mentioned before, I was already emancipated and supporting myself financially. I was still in high school. I was definitely taught that the minute I was 18 I would be on my own - I think that is very common in working class families.
I left at the age of 17 of my own accord because I just couldn’t stay there without losing my goddamned mind. I had $600 in the bank and I used $300 to buy the car from my parents. That turned out to save me because my Mom ended up taking away my driver’s license just to spite me so that I could not drive to school. She cut it up in front of my guidance counselor and said she didn’t care if I never graduated. I really had no choice but to legally emancipate so that I could get my driver’s license back and finish high school. Also my working hours were restricted as a minor and I needed to be making more money.
I was living with my Aunt and I had financial responsibilities like food, gas and electric but since I was in school she didn’t ask for rent. She had been telling me since I was 13 that if I could ever afford it I was welcome to live with her, and she made good on her promise.
I emancipated in October, got my license back, turned 18 in March of the following year and started college in September.
And even though I had to bend over backwards to prove it, my poverty was a windfall for my education. The damndest thing is, if I hadn’t moved to a different county to live with my Aunt, I would not have qualified for the almost full ride scholarship I ended up with - a scholarship I didn’t even apply for. If you’re academically successful and very poor, and willing to jump through a shit ton of administrative hoops, you can get a lot of help.
The kids with the real problem were the ones whose parents made good money but weren’t paying a dime of their education. The federal government required that they report their parents’ income anyway.