On my mind

Are we defined by our social class?

(BEWARE: this may be a possible rant. Okay it is!)

I had never realistically debated this with myself until last week. The only reason why I did probably was because one of my professors spent an entire class session going over a theory on communication and social class. While trying to get us to think outside of the box, he provoked and angered almost the entire class. I'm still unsure if this was his intention was or not. He seemed to enjoy angering us. I just don't know if it ended up inspiring anyone.

While discussing that it is extremely rare for anyone to move out of their social class, he went on to tell his students that they went to a "working class" college, that he didn't expect anyone in our class to go on to graduate school, and that most of us will go on to be "fed ex managers or something." He told all of us our lives would end ten years before those in the "upper elite" because of the work we would endure. The tone of voice he used, the way he talked about his life being SO upper class, really offended a lot of us. When confronted, he claimed that this was not his view but that of theory.

First of all, I'm sure Fed Ex managers make a decent living. Second of all, going to a state college is an accomplishment in my mind. Period. Plus, you're a college professor. How much money can you ACTUALLY make? More than a doctor? A lawyer? A scientist? Lastly, MOST of us will work most of our lives. Even those who are "upper class" work to survive AND thrive. How does the majority of those in existence become a "class"? Doesn't that refer to a SEGMENT of people not MOST EVERYONE? 

I thought about this on and off for a few days. I thought about my role as falling somewhere in the middle or "working" class. After getting off the defensive of how he portrayed the majority of America, I realized this: 

I will never fit in with the socialites of New York. And I don't want to. I will work for another 30-40 years. I hope it's doing something I love. I will pay taxes. We all will. I may not get my dream job right away. But I will someday. I may not be able to send my kids to Princeton out of pocket. Maybe I will. Who is to say going to Princeton will make them happy? Or ensure them a life of love and fulfillment? The future is unknown. Realistically I can't expect (according to Mr. Professor) to live a lifestyle like celebrities and the ultra rich do.  That will NEVER happen in his eyes. Well, I am completely fine with having a simpler life. I don't believe you NEED to have an impact by living a life of extreme wealth. I want my life to impact others in a positive way. And it will take WORK. If that's all I do, I will feel as though I have held the world in my hands. You can't buy that. You can't be born into that, buddy!

As the great Notorious B.I.G once said....

Mo money, mo problems.

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  1. Such a great post, I couldn't agree with you more! Money shouldn't dictate your social status or class, keep on being yourself!! xoxo

  2. aw hollie. thank you for mentioning me. i think i know exactly what you were feeling when he was speaking because i got fired up reading it. i mean really, how dare he?

    money does not, or never will, define the happiness of a person. i have met people without a penny who are ten times happier than someone with in the "upper crust" of society. clearly that professor has never seen an episode of Real Housewives ;)

    i personally think finances are all relative, no matter what someone makes, people find a way to deal and be happy with it.

    that celebrity, high-roller lifestyle is, what, two percent of society? WE are the norm.

    p.s. i looked up what the average salary of a professors is....my bf makes that much and he doesn't even have a bachelor's degree.

    and now that i've written you a novel...have a great wednesday!!

  3. I'm getting angry just reading this! I too think its important to work, regardless of the reason and for your professor to purposefully anger the class is really just not cool! - Alyssa

  4. Umm... do we really want the future of America to be all Real Housewives? Yeah, they're super rich, but they're also idiotic, lazy, mean, and selfish. I'd much rather be among the class of teachers, fire fighters, policemen, and FedEx workers who are nice and appreciative and generous. So whatevs, we're "working Americans". I think that's rather awesome!

  5. I remember I had a professional who said the same thing. That people *typically* end up staying within whatever social class their parents were. That it was difficult to break the ties... That we tended to gravitate towards people we shared commonalities with and therefore often times ended up with partners of the same class because it is harder to relate to those with different backgrounds - on the intimate level that marriage requires. It was a lecture that definitely made you think, and you wanted to argue it, but part of you thought "You know, I get it".

    That being said, it was in no way presented like your professor presented it. And no matter what "class" you are in, it takes all kinds. We need people willing to be maids, and willing to run big corporations. We need people for all those jobs. I don't think it matters whether you have a little, or whether you have a lot. It just matters that you appreciate what you do have and you count your blessings because no matter where we fall on the spectrum, there are always things to be thankful for!

  6. ... and by professional I meant professor. Der. I mean, he was a professional teacher.

  7. You go girl! I am so with you.. a simple life is fine with me. Because I know that I will be surrounded by loving family and friends, have a job that makes me completely happy, and accomplished goals that are important to ME. I don't need society to tell me whether my life is acceptable or not. And I don't need to be a high roller to be happy with what I have. I WANT be a hard working example to my kids!

  8. I hope your professor was just playing devil's advocate just to spark a debate. I don't think people really deep down want a big house and a fancy car. I think they just want to have enough money to be able to live comfortably. And that's attainable. Anyway, loved your post!

  9. Well said my dear, there is nothing more aggrevating than someone putting me in a box and telling me there is no hope. What a jerk...I don't even care if he was just trying to teach, that was a just plain a-hole way of doing it. And I'm completely in agreement, I don't need to be ultra rich to have an ultra rich life with the things that truly matter...and if you ask me, people that do have a lot of money seem to be the poorest people on the planet when it comes to those things (c: Working class of the world UNITE! (c;

  10. Wow! This dude has made me mad and I wasn't even in the classroom. I think I would have stood up and gave him a piece of my mind!

  11. Loved this! And loved that you ended it with a B.I.G. lyric haha

  12. This is well said! I came to check out your blog from your guest post on Megs blog! Glad I found your blog, cannot wait to read more!



Thank YOU for your comments. <3