It’s not adding up

Gas prices driving students crazy


Art by Ashley Hovington

The average U.S. gas price continues to reach record highs, with every state averaging at least $4 a gallon, and experts say it will continue to climb. The average for a gallon of gas is $4.56, according to AAA, a 16 cent jump from last week and 39 cent increase from when the national record was broken in March. According to AAA, gas prices in some parts of Scottsdale eclipsed $5.

Ashley Hovendon, Reprter/ Sports Editor

12.80 – 4.70 = X

The answer is seemingly easy: 7.10. Unless you consider the variables: $12.80 is minimum wage and $4.70 is what students are paying on May 17 for a gallon of gas.

In that case, the answer is…painful.

“It’s outrageous… to pay this much for gas at the moment,” said junior football players Alex Nabavi and Andrew Neumann, adding that their gas “has increased by $20.” 

“When I first started filling up my tank it was 25-30 now it is at least 60 or more every time I go,” junior student Lauren Moeller said. 

Students now are seeing gas prices at $4.50 and higher and consider it to be normal now. Students have to deal with the fact that each week, the cost of their gas is going to damage their bank account and affect weekly spendings. 

Just less than two years ago, it wasn’t this way. Although in the beginning of the pandemic, in 2020, it was common to see gas prices at just a little over $1 because demand had dropped. In 2021, gas prices were brought back to normal and ranged from $2.51-$3.01.

Now that gas prices are soaring so high, it is starting to affect the social aspects of a high schooler’s life.

How high? The national average for a gallon of gas is $4.56, according to AAA, a 16 cent jump from last week and 39 cent increase from when the national record was broken in March. According to AAA, gas prices in some parts of Scottsdale eclipsed $5.

Students cannot change what is going on in the world, but they do feel as if they are being punished right now. 

‘I have to drive’

As gas prices continue to rise, the students are having a hard time figuring out how to handle their money from week to week.

Most students are only making minimum wage, which is currently $12.80. This is not enough to hold them over for two weeks if they are paying for their own gas.

While gas prices continue to rise in 2022, students are going to need to figure out a way to save their money in a responsible manner and have enough for gas and food. This is unfair for students whose families struggle with money or parents who make them buy everything because they have a job.

Many students have different reasons why they have to drive so much whether it is sports, siblings, or jobs that are affecting them to pay so much for gas.

“I drive a lot for work and tournaments,” said junior Madie Hepner, “which consists of four or more hours, so it is difficult to keep paying for as much gas as I use.” 

Nabavi, who is a lineman on the football team, said he wishes that the rising prices would change his driving habits.

“But they really haven’t,” he said. “I have to drive to school to practice and bus my siblings around.”

Students are saying the prices are unfair; while past generations could enjoy life without worrying about gas prices, the students of this generation are holding back on typical teen activities. 

Students’ Lives

The students at DM have very passionate reactions towards the gas prices and how it is affecting their lives.

“I think it is ridiculous,” said track and soccer athlete Darrah Williams. “Gas should not be this expensive after being so cheap before.

“Not all students get to choose their car and some don’t have time for a job to pay for it [and] their parents don’t always help.”

In fact, many students said parents tell them they still must pay for it themselves. 

“As a high school student having to pay these prices is difficult,” said junior Lauren Moeller, “[because]  you are required to spend a large amount of time on doing homework or starting college work.”

Students have to cut down on the social aspect of their lives as well because they have to save enough money and gas in their car. Nabavi has been “eating out less hangout with friends less to save money for gas.”

Hepnsner and others agree their lives will likely have to change.

“Things like going out to get food or driving to far places,” she said, “are not as frequent as they used to be.”