I see the word "privilege" thrown around quite often. From my time spent being raised in Delaware County to my time spent as a student in the predominantly-white, upper-middle class area of West Chester. I've seen family, friends, coworkers, customers, classmates, even professors, use it in the wrong context. Privilege is a misconception, so I'll take a few minutes to explain what it is and is not.
Privilege is not the idea of owning luxury. It's not asking your parents for a brand new Range Rover for Christmas and getting it. It's not your parents providing money for a spring break trip to Cancun. It's not walking around sporting Polo Ralph Lauren or the finest brand names. It's not having a mansion-sized house in a well-to-do neighborhood. It's not spending your Saturdays golfing at a local country club. It's certainly not having life handed to you on a silver platter. No. Let's rewind a bit.
Privilege is simply having the necessary resources to survive. Water. Food. Shelter. Having clothes on your body. Having a place to come home to at the end of the day. Privilege is having what billions of others cannot afford. And I don't mean yachts and sports cars. I don't mean AirPods and iPhones. I mean basic living necessities. Being satisfied that, at the absolute worst, you have the tools to survive another day. That's what privilege is.
What do I want you to do? I want you to acknowledge your privilege. Acknowledge the fact that you have the opportunity to get an education. Acknowledge the fact that you have a family that serves as your support system, both emotionally and financially. Acknowledge the fact that you have a warm bed to sleep in. Most of all, acknowledge the fact that you don't have to worry about money every second of the day. Acknowledge the fact that you have options. Options in living your life to the fullest potential.
While you're at it, be grateful. Hug your parents randomly. Tell them that you appreciate their sacrifices. Soak in the good moments. In the bad moments, it could always be worse. The worse is an everyday reality for some. Happiness isn't about getting what you want all the time--it's about loving what you have.
Love what you have. Acknowledge your privilege.