Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it
My Day 15 post isn’t up yet because I didn’t have time to edit pictures yesterday! It was more eventful than I had expected, haha.
Now the expected cliche rant for today’s post would have been my lot in life as a brown girl but I think iisuperwomanii‘s Youtube channel has that covered! Her videos are fantastic to understand the plight of brown girls everywhere! I’ll leave the ranting to the expert!
But hey, I’m not talking ’bout that! Here’s my response instead:
Every person belongs in different groups. I’m not sure what ‘lot in life’ this prompt is talking about, it’s another ambiguous one that makes me wish the person posting the prompts had sort of thought them through better, but I don’t think even she was expecting it to blow up the way that it did.
What lot in life is this referring to? My religion? My finances? My educational? Career? Gender? Relationship status? WHAT LOT OF LIFE DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT, HMM!?
I guess if I’m being given the freedom to pick a lot I want to talk about I’ll choose to talk about some of the difficulties I’ve faced being
an Indian woman part of a middle-class family. “Middle class” is the worst place to be – you are too proud and not poor enough to accept or receive government help. At the same time, you’re not fortunate enough not to need it. It’s a pretty crappy place to be with the way our system works because if we were any poorer, we’d have it easy with the welfare, stamps, free college, and need-based scholarships. Any richer and we would be comfortably living without needing them. As it is though, we are middle class and face the consequences of a lot of hard work with very little payoff.
I have found it difficult to see students in college receiving so much financial aid solely on their financial status. In fact, I felt pretty offended and took it personally when I came across a student at NYU’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) paying pennies per semester to attend and live at NYU while my middle-class parents were scrounging and pinching pennies to afford my tuition. I understand helping the financially needy, that’s not my problem. The problem is how blindsided the government becomes in that situation. Those HEOP kids getting the full scholarships had dismal SAT scores, GPA’s, and resumes compared to many of the middle-class kids spending all their savings and taking out loans to pay their way.
It bothers me that there is such privilege given just for being under a certain income level. If a child is smart, whether middle-class, rich, or poor, they deserve the same scholarship. If you’re telling me that the girl with a 1700 SAT score deserves a full ride and my 2000+ score does not, I’m personally offended. If you tell me that because a mediocre student has managed the great feat of graduating high school in a poor neighborhood, they suddenly deserve free housing and a stipend to pay for their books, it is not okay.
I haven’t quite overcome my difficulty of accepting that this is how things are. It’s just inherently wrong in my eyes to deny a richer person a full scholarship they deserve more than the poor person who got it. You know what? A middle class student is taking out loans to pay for college because they can’t afford it even with the measly scholarship they got. Just to watch the kid from the bad neighborhood attend college for free, goof off during college, postpone graduation, and get worse scores than them.
I see the other perspective and I’m all for giving an underprivileged child opportunity. When it comes at the expense of academically deserving children though, it gets me pissed. If I had the same scores as that HEOP kid, I deserve the same amount of scholarship as them. If I had better scores, it’s ridiculously backwards and unfair for me to take out college loans, watch the “poorer kids” with the poor scores get more money than me, and struggle to make tuition payments because I feel guilty asking my middle class parents for money when we are barely scraping by. I HAD THE BETTER SCORES. I worked my ass off to get them. And if the girl with the 3.5 GPA and 1750 SAT is getting a full ride, I damn well think I should be too.
I will try to remain open-minded to discussion on opposing points. If you feel otherwise, don’t hesitate to say so – I’m looking forward to the debate and hope that somebody can prove to me that the phenomenon I’ve described is okay. I want to be more accepting but can’t find it in my bitter heart to do that just yet. I’ve struggled a lot more because my parents were over the “poor” person income threshold, and subsequently have had it harder than the kids whose parents met that threshold and got everything for free. It’s all so backwards to me. Like telling somebody that they’ve been too privileged thus far so they’re going to give all that excess privilege to somebody else who was underprivileged but as a result, leave you feeling underprivileged. Like wtf. Am I making sense? Do you guys understand?