We Are Products Of Our Environments
Start writing a post
Student Life

We Are Products Of Our Environments

My environment and education have given me a privilege, I wish others would have the same opportunity for accessing that privilege too.

437
We Are Products Of Our Environments
Chicago Tribune

Are we a product of the environment or a product of self? Nature vs. nurture?

Recently, I was eating dinner with a friend. While we were eating he listed all the high achievers in his neighborhood and where they were going to college. The list included schools such as Emory, Harvey Mudd, Duke, Northwestern, and Tufts just to name a few. This wealth of prestige and excellence was all contained in the span of his neighborhood, just a few blocks of houses. Although this was a very impressive feat for his neighborhood, I couldn't help but think of the other neighborhoods around me where a college education was a pipe-dream. Although I don't know the statistics for sure, I'd also venture to say the top standardized test scores lie in his neighborhood and many other uber-educated neighborhoods like it throughout the country highlighting a vast inequality in both test scores and education.

This observation made me reflect on my past volunteering experiences through Portland Junior Scientists where I taught at-risk youth. In these areas the question isn't "where are you going to college", but rather "are you going to college". Often times the answer is no. In the elementary schools, the kids aren't taught, but rather managed, educational programs are cut, water is contaminated, lunches aren't nutritional, and high achievement is marginalized.

These schools post banners of Ivy League colleges hoping to inspire their students but in my experience, I can't recall any of the kids reaching those heights. It also is a strange environment and double-standard when some elite public schools are pristine in appearance while at these unsightly public schools I walk outside and encounter numerous needles and litter along with the smell of various intoxicants.

The truth is that we really are products of our environments.

I say this as someone who believes in both hard work and individualism, but where would I have ended up if I went to a school greeting a heroin needle every day? Where would I end up if I didn't have drinkable water or even recess and P.E.? Where would I be without the teachers and parents that have cared for me and fostered my development? Would I be a gang-banger, a drug dealer, a drop-out, or deadbeat? I don't know for sure, but what I do know is that it would have been a lot harder to achieve when everything around you is pushing to keep you down.

My environment and education have given me a privilege, I wish others would have the same opportunity for accessing that privilege too.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

71076
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

132632
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments