Generally when I talk about growing up working class and how that had influenced my educational career, I do so to point out the inadequacies of the educational system and the cultural narrative that education is always the best way to get ahead. While all that still holds true, this semester the universe has not so subtly reminded me about the benefits of coming from a working class background. Please keep in mind, just as with the negatives I discuss, I think there is much more at play here than just a working class background, some of this is — I think specific to my situation.
The best part of my experience as a first generation, working class student, particularly as an undergraduate, was the freedom. Since no one in my immediate family had been to a university, there was no one around telling me what I had to be. No one pushed me into med school, or law school, and while I may not have made the best choices (that BA in Theater isn’t exactly paying the bills), I was able to do what I loved.
Last week Deanna Mascle posted this image on her blog.
And it is so true that I laughed out loud all day.
I would never in a million years say that I made the best/smartest career choices, but I can tell you how happy I am that they have all been mine.