To read the Prelude: Inside Marianapolis: Prelude
I had always understood my high school experience to be relatively normal. I never thought it to be exotic compared to other high school experiences among U.S. teenagers. It wasn’t until college when I was handed the book The Power of Privilege: Yale and America’s Elite Colleges in my Power, Prestige and Poverty class when I realized that my high school experience was very different than most teenagers in the U.S. The book traced the standard life of a child who is born into a family of a higher socioeconomic status. A child who originates from a higher class family will end up attending a college preparatory high school. This college preparatory high school will ensure that child’s enrollment in a top ranked university, possibly an IV league school. At that university, that child will strengthen their social network and will most likely study a major that will allow them to have a job that earns a lot of money. That student will then receive their degree, be employed in a high paying job and will end up a member of the same socioeconomic class that they were born into. Many times, an individual who has this type of schooling will not just have a high paying job, but will also have a job that involves ruling a large group of people, such as being a politician or CEO.
The experience of growing up that I was taught about by the book The Power of Privilege is the experience of growing up that I and many of my colleagues from MPS experienced. Marianapolis is a college preparatory school that could be afforded by families who are members of the higher middle class or the upper class. That statement has been debated by members of the MPS community. Many people at MPS said that they aren’t participants in the upper class lifestyle because MPS was a more affordable prep school than other prep schools. Although this might be true, this does not mean that MPS was cheap or that lower class families were able to send their children to the school.
On the Inside is about telling my readers about experiences of mine that most people don’t get to observe or experience. I had a very privileged high school experience compared to most high schoolers and I feel like it is important to educate others about this privileged lifestyle. I do this because I do not want to continue to deny my privilege in the face of those who do not have this privilege. I have observed that some individuals who live the higher class life will attempt to normalize their privilege. They normalize their privilege because they do not want to deal with the fact that their lifestyle is quite elegant compared to most individuals in the U.S. and throughout the world. When one normalizes their privilege, it is easy to ignore others’ lack of privilege. This is because they assume that their lifestyle is the standard and that people can’t be living a life much different from theirs. As long as people continue to normalize their privilege, they have difficulty being motivated to combat the inequalities that are present in this country and help those who lack this privilege.
I want to debunk the myth (that I believed for a long time) that my privilege is normal. I want to recognize that my high school experience was unique and was made possible because my background is of a higher middle class. I also seek to enter into this conversation with an air of humility. I do not want my words to be interpreted in a manner in which I am thought to be a cocky individual who considers myself morally superior over my peers who are of the MPS community. I do not want to be thought of as a lofty social justice warrior. I write what I write because I have observed matters that are important to me and I would regret it if I left these things go unsaid.
To read Pt. 2: Inside MPS Pt. 2: Being a Golden Knight