The Dilemma With Being Involved

Being involved is fun! Volunteering is fun! Doing all that with the added pressure that if you do not involve yourself in your community, you might not get into university, might not land an internship, or not get that job, is… not so fun. 

In this article, I will be discussing how messed up that system is. So sit back, with an open mind, please.

The first thing to understand is the systemic discrimination already at play in almost every institution of our lives. It also exists in lower and higher education and is against those with lower incomes, and because of the same systemic discrimination, it can tend to be against people of color and immigrants as well. To analyze one really specific instance of this discrimination, we can look at how colleges glorify extracurriculars when extracurriculars need money, time, and family. People of lower class do not have as much of this as other people. For example, to play an instrument, play a sport, or even join a speech and debate team, you need to pay anywhere in the hundreds. Additionally, you need the time to stay after school, which working teens have less of, you need a vehicle to transport you, which you personally might not have. Now, you may be wondering, what about having my parents drive me, or what about late buses? Well. Someone’s parents might be working, and often, late buses only run once or twice a week. This automatically makes it extremely difficult for working students, or students of a lower socio-economic background, to complete extracurriculars. 

University admission processes equate these extracurriculars with creativity, drive, and merit. On the other side, they reject students without these because they assume their lack of joining clubs means they are lazy or do not care to refine their skills. This, as one can see from the above, is absolutely false, ignorant, and discriminatory. In turn, these children might not get accepted into colleges, or might not get into prestigious colleges that can land them good jobs that pay well. Their kids might face the same dilemma growing up then…

Take this article as a PSA. Look into systemic discrimination, oppression, racism, classism, etc. See how you can help combat it. If you attend college, are a graduate, and have this privilege which many cannot get, use this gift and give back to those who had institutions turn their back on them for a system that is corrupt and designed to favor the rich.

Whew.