I'm going to be really personal today. Really. This has been bothering me for a while, but it's honestly not something you can talk about to, well, anyone.
Today I'm going to talk about how uncomfortable it feels being a poor kid in a rich-kid school.
It seems like everyone at Cornell is super-rich. And why wouldn't they be? I mean, the Ivy League has always been the hub for children of aristocrats. That's the way it's always been. These colleges have been doing a good job of opening up to lower-income families by offering generous financial aid and covering expenses, but that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable to be surrounded by rich kids.
I've met several children of millionaires in the past couple of months. That's a big deal for me because, where I'm from, no one was anything above upper middle class.
I also checked the statistics, and only 14% of the Cornell student body receives Pell Grants. For those outside of the United States, Pell Grants are financial grants the government gives to low-income students. I'm going to generalize a bit, but this basically means that the majority of students pay full tuition, or close to that.
I guess the question here is so what? So what if everyone at Cornell is rich? Why should that matter? Why does it bother me? I guess the only answer I have is: I don't know why it bothers me. It shouldn't, I know that. But it makes me uncomfortable. It makes me feel insecure when someone talks to me about how they have a summer home in the mountains or how they paid $3,000 for their laptop. The worst was when a conversation came up about parents' incomes, and one kid said "yeah, my dad doesn't make that much. Only like $250,000 a year."
I'm sorry, but that's a lot to me.
I sincerely hope that this post doesn't offend anyone. In no way do I dislike those from high-income families. I mean, if you're nice, I'll like you. I won't judge you based on your income or how you dress or the things that you own or don't own. That's my philosophy. Just being around it so much and having people assume that you can relate to that kind of lifestyle makes me a little insecure.Yeah.