Our discussion of SES and class really got me thinking; I think here at stony brook, atleast in my personal experience, the hierarchy is in which major you choose to discipline in. This is inherently related to SES and as its well known that the pre-med student is more likely to prosper and be respected by his peers while a major like sport health science is considered the “easier” path and arent compensated as well for their work.
I experienced this first hand when, like many other students, I came here wanting to be a doctor. That quickly changed when I realized how competative it would be. After my freshman year, I switch majors to Economics. From that day, the way I have been percieved is so much different than before. People assumed I was a genius and hard working when I said I was pre-med while the connotation Economics brought about was lazy and settling for less.
This also intersects with race and sex as well. My roommate is a psyche major, a discipline that many girls undertake, and he told me he gets flack from his father and actually had to take up a second major, biology, just to please him. Another situatuion would be my friend, who is asian and expected to major in a hard science, engineering or math, majoring in Art; not only are they being judge by their parents but they are being judged by their peers, many of whom took the path they were expected to.
I wanted to make a comment on upward mobility. I come from a place of privilege but almost all of my close friends here werent so lucky. Even so, I feel like many of them will make more money than me over their life times.
One of my friends comes from extreme poverty, but with help from merit scholarships he is able to attend SBU. He currently is a biochem major on the premed track and has a 3.92 GPA. There is nothing getting in the way of this kid, his will and determination cannot be stopped and it is truly something I envy. He is in a position where acceptance to a top medical school is all but guaranteed (and with a 98% average pass rate of med school, that 6 figure pay check is almost secured) while I will be sending my applications to graduate schools with my fingers crossed.
Not only have I seen this with my peers, but my parents are also examples of “rags to riches”. My mother and father were both born into extremely impoverished families and they were each “the one that got out”. My mother, specifically, went from homelessness at 22 years of age to a member on the board of directors of a corpooration in 25 years. This never would have been possible were it not for her grades and work ethic, and I believe those two things have such a big determination on how far you make it in life.
With that said, I am aware that many communities do not have the same access, or quaility, to/of educational services which gives those with access to those services an upper hand. Regardless though, in my opinion, there are avenues to success that many choose not to take.
I know I said some pretty opinionated stuff so feel free to critique my thoughts