Unequal Childhoods: A Cultural Analysis

Superior Essays
Montclair is one of the most unique towns in New Jersey. People who live in my hometown range from extremely wealthy, living in the estate section, to homeless and living on the streets. Montclair prides itself on being very diverse and is only 60% caucasian. Everyone told me when I was growing up that I was in a bubble; they said that the real world was not be going to as accepting as the town that I am fortunate to live in. Race did not dictate your education and neither did your social class. Every school had a mixture of all ethnicities and socioeconomic classes. I never realized the extent of the bubble until I left Montclair and came to Bucknell. Unfortunately as diverse as my town is, it is also very segregated. The town is split into …show more content…
For those like myself who grew up in a middle class home, parents usually chose to cultivate their children in a concerted fashion. “Organized activities, established and controlled by mothers and fathers, dominate the lives of middle-class children… By making sure their children have these experiences, middle-class parents engage in a process of concerted cultivation.” (Lareau 2) For as long as I can remember, my parents regulated every single part of my life. I played soccer, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, I swam, and even did a little gymnastics. I took piano and violin lessons and had a private math tutor once I entered into the third grade. I was learning algebra by fourth grade and was constantly ahead of my class in all my subjects. I loved being better than everyone else. I always thought my parents made me do these things to keep me busy and to overshadow the fact that they weren’t around as much. It was not until I got older that I realized they were giving me skills and opportunities to use my talents to my …show more content…
I am not saying that this is a bad thing; she is extremely smart and paved a good path for me. However, growing up comparing yourself to someone else is never good. When I was younger I always told my parents that when my sister and I were older she would be so rich that I could just live in her carriage house. I never believed that it was possible for me to grow up and maybe have a carriage house of my own. I thought, if anything, that I would end up in the same economic class that my I had grown up in. However, Allie, my sister, wanted a better life for herself. By living under her for most of my life, I thought I could never be at the same level of success as her. She was always the smarter one. It was not until I came to school to Bucknell that I even realized the possibilities that I could have. The reason for our difference in aspirations came from our very contrasting social lives. My sister was never “cool” but she had her close group of friends. All of them grew up in the third and fourth ward, meaning none of them really had any money. The “popular” kids in her grade were all first and second ward kids; the ones who lived in the estate section or were neighbors with Stephen Colbert. Contrarily, I somehow made my way into the more popular crowd in high school. My friend group dominated the sports teams and we were good, giving people a reason to want to be friends with us. Many of my friends were also from the

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