Do you remember that speech you gave my high school class a few years ago?
You suggested we shouldn’t go to college. You referenced the economy. Said it wasn’t doing very well and employers might be looking to pay lower wages, a “perk” that comes with not having a degree. You said there was a market we could fill.
Did you go to the high-tech high school next door and offer them the same advice? Or was that tailored especially for us? Were you trying to remind us where we belong in the hierarchy?
I want you to know I applied and was accepted to college despite your words of wisdom. But, from the looks of my campus, it seemed like others may have taken your advice.
Are you proud? Were you trying to “protect” us from the unknown? Sure, most of us were first generation college students, but growth and comfort do not coexist. You had to know you were stifling us, not protecting us, right?
I want you to know I didn’t get there by accident. It’s where I wanted to be. It’s the seat I earned.
Mostly, I want you to know I graduated. I was the first in my family to earn a Bachelor’s degree, but I won’t be the last.
I wonder if you’re still out there encouraging stereotypes and normalizing mediocrity. I wonder if you’re still telling lies to people that look like me.
Lastly, I’d like to say thank you.
Thank you for allowing us to see that, sometimes, complacency encourages stagnation and defiance fuels growth.