Privileged White Girl, Am I Really?

Tina Myrum,
Alexandria, MN.

Growing up in a small town, there was not a lot of racially diversity. However, I listened to the news, read papers, and learned as much as I could about other races. I learned that we were not that different. Most people looking at me would assume that I have had an easy life, but this is not the case. I grew up with my grandparents, rather than my parents, most of my life. I have had a full-time job most of my life since I was sixteen. I bought everything I have and there have been days where I was not sure where I was going to sleep or what I was going to eat. These options were not by choice, but rather by being so privileged to not have everything given to me, as most people often think. I get immensely frustrated when people tell me that I have had it so easy, I should not complain. I do not learn as most do, and struggled all through elementary school to pass my classes, because I was “illiterate”. Even after my mom and step dad taught me how to read, the stigma continued. After transferring to a different school, I excelled in all my classes and started to enjoy school. After school, I went to a technical college and continued to have to work two to three jobs at a time. I slept in my car some days to get an extra half an hour of sleep and ate at work, to save money. I know that I am more privileged than some people, but I wish that people would not look at my car or my going to a university and think that it was all due to my parents. My parents taught me to be independent, that is my privilege.


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