Why social class is perpetuated in college

Life as a student is the best and the worst.

On the good side - you're in this period of time where no one really expects anything out of you except good grades.

On the bad side however, most students live off of their parent's money, so you pretty much do what they can afford. If your parents are lower income, you feel strangled by your other friends whose parents can afford for them to go out every night of the week.

And you feel powerless to do anything about it, because while you're in school, you're usually in a state of not making money. You're in a state of rapidly losing it!

It's a 16-year-period of powerlessness.

Student jobs usually don't break the bank or anything either.

As long as we keep students in school, we don't give them a chance to build their skills up to an income level that they want. Because I believe that building your network and skills will lead to a higher income than a college degree.

I want people to be able to reach a level of income where they feel comfortable. Because when you're making enough money, you really don't care how much other people are making.

There are 2 types of classism that I want to talk about: one based on wealth, and the other on university prestige.

Wealth-based classism is the idea that people with more money hold more power over others. Their wealth makes them feel like people below them aren't immediately worthy.

University prestige-based classism is the belief that your degree makes you a higher class of human being. It means that you're smarter, have more potential, and should be entitled to a higher salary.

Both forms of classism are dangerous.

But when it comes to being a college student, we play both games. For the lower income students on campus, we shell out the majority of our parent's paycheck to be around richer people. Not necessarily a bad idea, but we end up in this game again where people are rich usually based on someone else.

I believe that as soon as someone reaches their ideal income level, all of these games go to rest. Who cares what someone makes as long as you're making what you need to sustain a lifestyle that you like?

The more you explain bad events as temporary, specific, and external, the more likely you are to persist even in the face of adversity.
— Dan Pink, To Sell Is Human