Wealth inequality

Rich Kids, If You're As Privileged As I Am, Own Up To It

"Check your privilege" isn't an attack — it's an invitation to change yourself for the better.

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According to Global Rich List, my family falls into the top 0.06% wealthiest in the world, and according to the Wall Street Journal, the top 4% in the USA.

I grew up in one of the wealthiest, most educated, areas of the nation, the San Francisco Bay Area. Both my parents obtained advanced degrees. I went to a private school for nine years, the yearly tuition for which exceeded what many people pay for a year of college. I have not had to take out a single loan in my life, for school or otherwise, as my family pays for my college tuition and rent in full.

I'm not listing these things to brag — quite the opposite actually. I am enormously lucky.

I am blessed in ways only a tiny, tiny few individuals are. My family members worked very hard to get where they are, and I would never want to discount this. But when you look a little closer, it becomes clear that they had lots of help on their way to masters and doctoral degrees, help which people who were equally motivated and hardworking did not have. For starters, they were/are all white, third (or more) generation Americans, and well-educated—many of my great-grandparents went to college. In essence, absolutely none of my privilege was gained by me. I never had to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I have never had to choose between food and healthcare, rent, or other basic needs, the way billions of people worldwide do.

Without this cushion, I certainly wouldn't still be in college — I failed multiple classes freshman year and was placed on academic probation, which means that I did not receive any financial aid. For my family, this was not an issue at all, and I can view it now as just a bump in the road which I overcame in less than a year, and I now have good grades. Hopefully, I'll make it into grad school in the next couple of years. For other students who struggle academically, but rely on financial aid to pay their tuition, my "bump" is the end of the road completely, and they have to drop out.

If you are as blessed as I am, own up to it.

You didn't get to where you are through hard work alone. You lucked out. You won the familial lottery. Even if you worked your ass off, you still had the cushioning and support of financial and familial stability. I have a job—it's the fourth one I've had, so I'm definitely no stranger to securing and maintaining employment, but never have I needed this money. Many of my coworkers live paycheck to paycheck, several of them providing not only for themselves and/or a partner but also for children.

If I turn a blind eye to the struggles of others, instead of lying to myself that I have achieved oh-so-much when I most definitely haven't, I am part of the problem.

I am the ignorance of the wealthy few that built inequality in our nation. I am a bystander to greed and selfishness. To enjoy such gifts and not use that platform to give back, and fight the system, would be a crime, in my eyes.

Sometimes I almost feel embarrassed or ashamed because I don't ever want to make people feel bad or like I'm flaunting my privilege. Rather than push it away, I try to take that guilt I feel and ask myself, "What have you done for others lately? Have you been a force against greed and inequality, or are you just gliding along, blissfully ignorant?" One aspect of my behavior I have changed is what I do with old clothes and other items. I used to sell them on eBay or Posh because I didn't feel I could part with them unless I got money in return. Now, I donate instead. There are people who need these things far more than I do, but can't pay for them. I also tip 20%, across the board, as much as possible. I donate at least $5 to every Facebook friend's birthday fundraiser that I see. I buy ice cream for a homeless woman I see once a week or so. Additionally, I dedicate a lot of my time to community service. I am so proud to be a part of Alpha Phi Omega, an international service fraternity.

Still, there is always more I can do. In the grand scheme of things, these are small steps, and I certainly don't mean to make myself out to be Mother Teresa. I look at my friends and family who take time out of their day to go to rallies for a wide variety of causes, something I have yet to do, but always say "I wish I could." I'm still trying every day to break out of my comfort zone and give back, but it's never really enough.

If you are a privileged individual such as I and feel attacked when people bring up that privilege, stop getting tied up in your ego. Take a realistic look at the world. No one is out to get you, they just want to educate you and change your perspective. You have an enormous opportunity to be the change you wish to see in the world. You can dedicate your life either to the continual pursuit of wealth and power or to giving back and helping others. Choose wisely.

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When You Decide You Don't Love Me Anymore

I'll forgive you.

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I never thought I would write this, but I feel like I have to: there will come a day where you won't love me anymore. This won't be a sad day, but instead a day I have waited for all along. You see, they all leave and that is perfectly okay. People may not be meant to be in my life for all of it, not in any of our lives but this is normal and although initially saddening it is a part of our lives and inevitably part of our journey.

When this time comes I want you to know that we did our best, that we were in fact in love once and that we had hoped it would blossom into a lifetime commitment but it didn't and I accept that and will respect you always. I know you did not wake up one day out of the blue and stop loving me, I know this feeling grew over time in your heart and that it was not something you planned on. I respect this.

You were the only person I trusted and the one I loved the most, but nothing lasts forever and I hope you can understand there is no animosity here and certainly, no stone left unturned. We just are not those kinds of people, we would have tried everything to keep our love burning bright and tried for quite a while to understand where the cracks began so that could fix them, it just isn't that simple. Love is a long complicated process, you know that and falling in love with me couldn't have been easy, I am misunderstood and stubborn as all hell and I am FULLY aware of that but that does not mean I didn't try to ease up on you, I promise I did my best.

I have always done my best to understand you, to make you happy, to keep the flame alive, but it has been extinguished. Love does that sometimes, it is there one day burning bright and then it slowly starts to dim with every fight, every unrequited "I love you" and every day passing by in which we spoke less and less about the things that mattered and more and more about worthless things.

This is all okay, it is a season of life, a part of our lives in which we do suffer but one we must grin and bear. I want you to know that I will always love and care for you, although it is now in a much different way, now we no longer look at each other with doting eyes and open hearts but instead with the freedom to let go and move on.

It is time for us to go on with our lives and find a new adventure, one that will light our hearts on fire instead of continuing to snuff our joint flame. You will always be in my memory and a huge part of my life that I once had but I accept that it's over and that time sometimes wears on things as it has worn on us.

You are the love of my life and that is truly the reason I must forgive you.

Goodbye, my love.

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