No matter the situation, we all were granted some level of privilege. Whether it is that your family roots are entirely Caucasian, or that your parents completed a college degree, or that your immediate family members aren't immigrants or the fact that you were granted a scholarship, or that you've had a mentor willing to guide your way. It is all a type of privilege.
The point of this article isn't to debate which privileges aren't really the stereotypical "privilege." I'm not saying that the competitive scholarship you acquired on your own merit was easy or without many obstacles. I personally know that it isn't easy. It isn't easy as a first-generation college student. Nor is it easy coming from a stereotypically privileged home. Hard work is hard work. And I also know it's not fair to compare certain privileges to others. It's not fair fighting grounds. I know this.
However, we all- in some way, shape, or form- are privileged. We are privileged to have the air in our lungs, to have working limbs, a cognizant mind, the ability to learn more information, the ability to express our own opinion, the ability to Google, even the ability to be reading this article right now.
We as humans love to look at others and think, "Wow, it must've been so much easier for them." And I get it, some people do have an easier path paved. Some people are privileged enough to know if they fail or fall, there is something and someone to help them bounce back. Some of us have to work hard to ensure there is a raggedy, old cushion to help ease our fall. Some of us had a guiding hand, some of us had to be our own guide.
Comparison kills. I'm sure you all have read this a thousand times over. But even still, it is so utterly important to know and to realize how privileged we are with the life we have been given. We are privileged to have a family, we are privileged to have friends, we are privileged to have the capabilities to pursue our education, to pursue a career, or even just simply work a part-time minimum wage job.
Even if you were your own guide to reaching where you have today, you are still privileged. You are privileged to have the strength to face adversity, to find resources and mentors. Realize that some people in your exact same situation don't make it as far as you did.
Privilege is always a tricky word. It is often used negatively. There is the belief that having any sort of privilege is a "free pass" or it disregards all of your hard work. I questioned using the term privilege for this article for that sole reason. I considered using fortunate, blessed, or any other synonym of the word. But I didn't. I didn't because making it as far in our lives as we have when many others don't is a privilege.
Some of us were handed all the cards needed to be successful, some of us were handed a few, and some of us fought for the few that we had. Yet, we all managed to obtain some of those cards. And that, my friends, is so important to remember. We are all incredibly privileged, in one way or another.
Remind yourselves to be grateful for what and who you have- for all the cards you have been given. Because while someone may have had it "easier" than you, some had it much more difficult than you.